According to Sponichi, FRIDAY (a gossip mag) printed an article in one of their recent publications about Rakuten president Hiroshi Mikitani meeting with Senichi Hoshino on the October 1st for a dinner meeting. According to the article, the two parties met to discuss the possibility of Hoshino taking over as manager next season. The magazine apparently even got a quote from a person connected to the team to verify that.
However, when Honshino was approached about the rumor directly, he replied, "I've had dinner meetings with Mr. Mikitani since before the Rakuten Eagles. ... We spoke about how the Eagles have a good chance at making the CS because they have some pretty good pitchers. There were also 6 other non-baseball related people there so there's no way we'd discuss anything about a managing job. And besides, I'm a Senior Director with the Hanshin Tigers. Talk about a managing job wouldn't make much senSense."