Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has warned his assistant coach Mikel Arteta against taking up the vacant managerial position at Arsenal.
The Spaniard is the top contender for the hot seat at the Emirates after the Gunners sacked Unai Emery. They are languishing in tenth place with just one win from 12 games in all competitions.
Arteta, a former player of the club himself, is said to have agreed on a three-and-a-half-year deal for the role. Arsenal has given him a choice to choose his assistant coach.
The Spaniard is expected to assume control before the club’s league clash against Everton on Sunday. He will be present alongside Guardiola as the defending champions take on Oxford United in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.
“I think Arsenal [are] always one of the best teams of the last 20 years,” Guardiola said in quotes reported by Goal.
“When Arsene took over the team, he raised the club to another level, and now they are struggling a little bit the last years.”
“When the club takes a decision to replace the manager or buy players it’s always to rise to be better. Whether it’s going to happen or not, I don’t know.”
“You know my opinion about Mikel. He’s a professional human being and a person, I don’t have doubts about that.”
When asked why Arteta shouldn’t leave the Etihad for the Emirates, Guardiola replied,
“It is a good argument. Why not?”
“We are not going to tell him, stay, stay, stay, if he doesn’t want to stay.”
As it happens, Pep Guardiola also faces an uncertain future at the Etihad following the champions’ faltering season. City intends to hold on to the Spanish tactician, but it remains to be seen whether he wishes to continue his tenure in England.