Manchester Evening News

Guardiola always suggested Mikel could be Art of the matter for Blues


ARSENAL manager Mikel Arteta is being linked with a potential departure from the Emirates after City boss Pep Guardiola previously talked up his chances of replacing him at the Etihad.

Recent reports in Spain have claimed that Arteta could replace Xavi at Barcelona after the legendary midfielder announced he will leave the Nou Camp.

Arteta insisted yesterday at his press conference he is in the ‘right place’ as the Arsenal manager revealed he was left upset by rumours he had told colleagues he was set to quit for Barcelona.

The Gunners’ boss is under contract at Arsenal until 2025 and talks have been underway over a new deal.

But one potential destinatio­n, should Arteta depart the North London club in the future, could be City if Guardiola calls time on his spell as manager. The pair worked together at City for more than three years before Arteta left his role as assistant manager to succeed Unai Emery at Arsenal in December 2019.

“I’m pretty sure [he’ll succeed me]. He will have success,” Guardiola said about Arteta in September 2019. “Sooner or later it’s going to happen [Arteta becoming a manager]. He’s a young, young manager. He has experience already, handling big players and big teams.

“He’s got an incredible work ethic. He has a special talent to analyse what happens and to find solutions. We talk a lot about what he believes and how he feels.”

Guardiola said Arteta similarly saw the game to him, while also lauding the former Everton midfielder’s character.

“He’s so happy when we win but suffers when we don’t and that is why he tries to find a solution,” he added.

“He’s an incredible human being, with incredible values about what it means in the locker room to be together, and he is already an incredible manager and he’ll have incredible success in his future. We see the football in really quite a close way.” Guardiola’s current City deal runs until the end of the 2024/25 season, but the Catalan has previously hinted that he could extend his stay at the Etihad. “I signed a contract for another two years because I feel comfortabl­e – and nothing has changed whether we won (the Treble) or didn’t win,” he said in August last year.

“I am happy and the people are happy, the board and the hierarchy especially, because they decide in the end which manager is going to lead this group of players.

“If they are satisfied, I am still satisfied. I want to defend what we won and maybe at the end of the season, if I am tired, we will talk with the club – or maybe extend more.”

He is an incredible human being with incredible values

Pep Guardiola on Mikel Arteta

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 ?? ?? Pep Guardiola with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta; Inset left, Xavi has announced he will leave Barcelona
Pep Guardiola with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta; Inset left, Xavi has announced he will leave Barcelona

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