Mikel Arteta is a leading candidate to take the Arsenal jon.Manchester City expect Arsenal to make an approach for Mikel Arteta in the coming days after the Spaniard intimated he would accept an offer from the Gunners to become the club’s next manager, sources have told Metro.co.uk.
The Spaniard was in the running to replace Arsene Wenger in 2018 but Arsenal opted for the experience of Unai Emery. Arteta had been confident of landing the role and was disappointed that he was overlooked but he has retained support from sections of Arsenal’s board, who believe the landscape now is more suitable for the 37-year-old to take his first steps into management.
City gave Arteta permission to speak to the Gunners 18 months ago and he has since rejected approaches from Newcastle and Everton to remain as Pep Guardiola’s assistant. Arteta has long been touted as a successor for Guardiola but Metro.co.uk understands he is not one of the frontrunners to become City’s next manager when Guardiola decides to step aside. Arteta has served as Guardiola’s assistant since 2016, that has ultimately convinced Arteta to seek a move into management elsewhere and City’s view is that the Spaniard would now accept an offer should Arsenal make one.
Arsenal’s board have drawn up a shortlist of potential candidates to succeed Emery and City believe that a formal approach for Arteta is likely be made once Sunday’s clash at the Emirates is out of the way. Speaking ahead of the clash in north London, Guardiola insisted it is down to Arteta to decide whether he wants to leave the club.
‘You can be a 45-year-old and believe you’re not ready [to become a manager] and 35 and believe you’re ready. Only he knows,’ said the former Barcelona boss. Arteta’s departure would be a blow for Guardiola, who would be forced to reshuffle his backroom staff. The club were keen on keeping Vincent Kompany at the Etihad when he decided his playing days were over in the north-west but he opted for a player-manager role at Anderlecht. However, Kompany has come under increasing pressure in Brussels with his Anderlecht side languishing in 11th place and should he become available, Guardiola would welcome him on to his staff with open arms.