Manchester City are ready to hand highly-rated assistant coach Mikel Arteta a new contract after Arsenal decided not to appoint him at the 11th hour yesterday, according to reports tonight.
Arteta, 36, all but had his bags packed and there were stories that he was already planning transfers for his new job as Arsenal manager before the Gunners’ board got cold feet and appointed the more experienced Unai Emery, who will be officially announced soon.
That news came as a boost for City, for whom Arteta has been a key part of Guardiola’s coaching staff. The former midfielder is so well thought of that he is being viewed as a serious candidate to succeed Guardiola when the Catalan leaves, which may be in 2021 when his contract ends.
Arteta is said to be very happy at City and despite coming close to landing a big managerial role with Arsenal, is now not expected to pursue a management job any time soon.
Pep has spoken very highly of Arteta, who he recently credited for much of the improvements in Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling.
“Mikel Arteta has helped Sané and Sterling to make a lot of actions near to the box,” Pep recently told Monday Night Football. “The qualities one against one, we say to the wingers when you receive the ball, if the control is good, the shape is good, go, go, it doesn’t matter if you lose the ball – try.”
After the final game of the season, Guardiola had other kind words about Basque-born Arteta.
“What we have done this season, Mikel, his contribution was outstanding, amazing. We were together so good, all the staff, with Mikel. So if he stays I will be happiest guy in the world. If he decides to move because he has this offer, this option, I will not say you don’t have to go [you can’t go].”
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