The managerial merry go round at the Emirates Stadium could be coming to an end very soon, and as some expected, Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta looks set to take the top job at Arsenal.
Following Manchester City’s destruction of Freddie Ljungberg’s side on Sunday evening, the hierarchy at Arsenal have wasted no time in acting upon the result, and judging by developments throughout Monday, Pep Guardiola’s right-hand man could be set to make the switch between the two clubs.
First news of significant progress in a potential deal came early on Monday morning, with images reported by several outlets showing Arsenal’s managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, and director of football operations, Huss Fahmy, leaving Mikel Arteta’s property in Manchester at around 1:20am – immediately following the Spanish coach’s return from Manchester City’s victory over Arsenal at the Emirates.
Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol simultaneously reported that Mikel Arteta was firmly established as a ‘leading candidate‘ for the top job at the London club – however, it would come to light later on in the day that the former Everton midfielder is in fact just days away from the position.
Further details surrounding the negotiation process between Arsenal and Mikel Arteta were then brought to our attention through the Telegraph, who reported that there had been a series of meetings conducted between the two parties in recent days. Arteta was interviewed by executives at the club prior to Manchester City’s clash with Arsenal on Sunday evening.
Mikel Arteta’s position in the whole scenario remained relatively unknown, until early Monday afternoon, when Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail suggested that he had ‘privately indicated‘ that he was in fact ‘open‘ to taking the vacancy at Arsenal ‘now‘.
The Mail then continued later on in the day, suggesting that a third and final meeting would take place on Monday night between Mikel Arteta and Arsenal chief Josh Kroenke. However, the same report seemed to set the tone for the next run of updates that would follow, stating that although Manchester City are due compensation for the transfer, the club remain ‘bemused‘ at a lack of direct contact from Arsenal officials.
As explained by James Robson of the Evening Standard, Manchester City had been left ‘disappointed‘ by the conduct of Arsenal officials, following the release of images showing two of the club’s chiefs at Arteta’s property late on Sunday night.
One notable point made by several outlets including the Evening Standard and the Athletic, was that a feeling remains at the Etihad Stadium that Mikel Arteta could one day manage Manchester City, after gaining experience in the number one role elsewhere.
David Ornstein of the Athletic revealed the professionalism shown by Mikel Arteta throughout the ordeal on Sunday night and Monday morning, stating that not only had the Spaniard informed the club of talks with Arsenal officials, but had also refused to let the entire process intervene with his Manchester City commitments.
This appears to be the reason why talks between the relevant parties took place late on Sunday night and early Monday morning. Arteta was also present at Manchester City training, the day after the club’s 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium. During the game, a delegation from the Premier League champions (consisting of Ferran Soriano, Txiki Begiristain and Omar Berrada) had mingled with the relevant counterparts at the London club – however, there was no mention of Arteta nor was there any suggestion of a possible move for the City coach.
Judging by the detail and size of the developments throughout Monday, the transfer of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal for the vacant managerial role is expected to be just stages away from completion. Pep Guardiola’s right-hand man will complete a move that he was reportedly approached for by the same club, prior to Unai Emery’s appointment in 2018.
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