Arsenal, Clubs, English Premier League, Story



Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta is set to be named the next Arsenal manager in the coming days, sources have told ESPN, despite the Etihad club’s disappointment with the way the Gunners have pursued their former club captain. 

Chief negotiator Huss Fahmy and managing director Vinai Venkatesham traveled to Manchester after Arsenal’s defeat to City on Sunday afternoon and spent more than two hours at Arteta’s home in Cheshire, discussing the job.

Things could go quickly now. Arteta is set to meet with Josh Kroenke, the son of owner Stan Kroenke, on Monday. The American was at the game on Sunday and will interview the Spaniard alongside Raul Sanllehi, the head of football at the club, and Venkatesham and Fahmy.

City have not yet received a formal approach for Arteta and were left bewildered by the images appearing to show the Sunday meeting at Arteta’s home. And sources have told ESPN that City bosses were surprised they were not approached for talks — either formal or informal — on Sunday despite spending the day at the Emirates, although they will not stand in the way of the Spaniard if he decides to take the job at the Emirates.

Should Arteta be offered the job and decide to succeed interim manager Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal would have to pay a substantial compensation fee, believed to be seven figures.

Arteta, 37, spent five years at the Emirates under Arsene Wenger (2011 to 2016) before spending the past three and a half years as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad. He has a contract with City until 2021 but is keen on rejoining Arsenal.

Arteta was nearly handed the job 18 months ago, but Unai Emery was preferred by then-CEO Ivan Gazidis.

Freddie Ljungberg has been interim manager since the sacking of Emery last month, but the Swede, who pleaded with the club to resolve its manager situation quickly, has struggled to have an impact. The former Gunner could remain in Arteta’s staff, though, if the Spaniard does indeed replace him.

Arteta certainly lacks managerial experience, as he has never been in charge of a club’s first team, but he is highly thought of by the Arsenal hierarchy and by the people who have worked with him at Manchester City.

The Gunners are in crisis at the moment with just one win in their past 12 matches in all competitions. Yet, they are still only seven points from fourth place in the table. and sources say Arteta believes he can turn things around once in charge.



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