MANCHESTER — Pep Guardiola has confirmed assistant Mikel Arteta will travel with Manchester City for the Carabao Cup tie with Oxford United despite saying the Spaniard is “talking” with Arsenal.
Arteta is being lined up for the manager’s job at the Emirates but Guardiola still expects the 37-year-old to make the trip to the Kassam Stadium on Wednesday.
“I only know what you know,” Guardiola said, who confirmed he knew about a planned meeting between Arteta and Arsenal chiefs on Sunday night.
“Today [Tuesday] I saw him. He’s travelling [to Oxford] yeah. He’s an incredible person and a good coach. He’s talking with Arsenal so I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Arteta’s potential departure would leave Guardiola’s coaching team short as City look to close the gap on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League and make inroads in the Champions League.
They have been handed a tough round-of-16 draw against Real Madrid but Guardiola insists he is confident of progressing.
“It’s positive as we are one of the best 16 team in Europe and that’s good news,” Guardiola added.
“If you want to go through you have to play these teams sooner or later, you can do it now or later. It’s an incredible test for us, we want to prepare well for two months and get the injured players back.
“We’ll see the feeling in February. If you want to make a step we have to face them. They have more experience in this competition but we’ll try to compete with them. I have incredible confidence to do a good two games.”
Guardiola has been handed a boost ahead of the second half of the season after Leroy Sane stepped up his recovery from knee surgery by returning to training on the grass at the CFA.
The winger has not played since suffering an injury during the Community Shield victory over Liverpool in August.
“He’s taken the next step to go on the pitch, then he’ll take part in training,” Guardiola said. “It’s incredibly good news for us. It’s good.”