Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed his assistant Mikel Arteta is negotiating a move to the Premier League rivals Arsenal
The reigning holders travel to Oxford United for the Carabao Cup clash on Wednesday, and Arteta will be sitting next to Guardiola, even though his talks with Arsenal reached advanced stages.
Speaking of his assistant’s qualities in the build-up to City’s trip to Oxford, the former Bayern Munich manager has revealed the 37-year-old will be in the dugout but can switch allegiances soon.
“He’s an incredible person… work ethic… and that’s why he’s with us,” said Guardiola, as reported by the TEAMtalk. “He is talking with Arsenal, so I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“Now it happens with Mikel that teams want him. He knows exactly what we would like, but in the end, the decision is personal.
“The organization of the club is always live. It doesn’t always stay the same; what works today might not work tomorrow. The people today maybe won’t be here tomorrow.
📰| Should Mikel Arteta go to Arsenal Pep Guardiola will look to get either Xabi Alonso or Giovanni van Bronckhorst as new assistant manager.— City Chief (@City_Chief) December 17, 2019
[Daily Star] pic.twitter.com/69SrAqPtQA
“Now he’s part of our group and staff, and he stays here. When we have any new news I’ll know, you’ll know, and we’ll see what happens.
“Now he is here traveling with us. He was part of the training session, and he’ll travel tomorrow.
“I say nothing. He’s an adult. He knows exactly what he needs to do. He was incredibly honest and transparent with me.”
The Gunners are on the hunt for a permanent manager after releasing Unai Emery back in November, as the interim boss Freddie Ljungberg has already urged the hierarchy to find a long-term solution.
Arteta is a familiar face at the Emirates, having spent the final five years of his professional football career there, and it’s one of the reasons the North Londoners are looking to secure his services.
However, the Citizens intend to play hardball with Arsenal after finding their conduct disrespectable, as reported by the same source.
Arsenal faced City in the Premier League last weekend, but no contacts between the clubs were made, which seemed to have irritated the holders’ chiefs.