Pep Guardiola has revealed he knew about assistant coach Mikel Arteta’s recent meeting with Arsenal over their managerial vacancy.
The Gunners dispensed with Unai Emery at the end of November, placing former winger Freddie Ljungberg in interim charge since then.
Will Arteta be the next Arsenal manager? Five things to know…
- Arteta made 149 appearances for Arsenal as a player between 2011 and 2016.
- Since retiring, he’s taken up a role as Guardiola’s assistant at Man City.
- So far, he’s helped the club win five major trophies in three years.
- As such, he’s emerged as a contender for the Arsenal job after the club sacked Emery.
- Guardiola has confirmed he was aware of Arteta’s meeting with the Gunners and that his assistant has been “transparent” with him.
Ljungberg has managed just one win during his five games in charge so far and a number of names have been muted as potential long-term appointments at the Emirates.
Arteta seemingly heads up that list and, according to reports, the Spaniard met with Arsenal executives Vinai Venkatesham and Huss Fahmy during the early hours of Monday morning.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Guardiola revealed he knew about the meeting as Arteta was “incredibly honest” about it and that he’s not surprised to see teams interest in his colleague.
“I knew about it. He was incredibly honest and transparent with me,” Guardiola told reporters. “Teams want him. He knows exactly what we would like. It is his decision.”
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A final meeting with Arsenal director Josh Kroenke is expected to take place during the coming days and if successful, Arteta’s appointment may well be announced before the weekend., with time now surely of the essence for the north Londoners.
The Gunners fell to a 3-0 defeat at home to Man City on Sunday and travel to Everton on Saturday. Man City, meanwhile, travel to Oxford in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.