Sunday 22 September 2019

Mikel Arteta edging closer to being appointed as Arsenal head coach as Gunners chiefs build new structure

Pep Guardiola confirms he will give the green light to Mikel Arteta leaving Manchester City amid interest from Arsenal
Pep Guardiola confirms he will give the green light to Mikel Arteta leaving Manchester City amid interest from Arsenal
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal appear to be close to finalising their plans to replace departed manager Arsene Wenger and it seems increasingly likely that Gunners chiefs will not appoint a direct replacement for the veteran boss.

Wenger took charge of his final game as Arsenal boss at Huddersfield on Sunday, as he walked away from the club after almost 22 years at the helm and the efforts to replace him are now gathering pace.

The outgoing Arsenal boss held a powerful position at the club hat has been diluted in the last year, with Raul Sanllehi installed as the club's Sporting Director and Sven Mislintat assuming the position of head of recruitment as Arsenal chiefs are keen to step away from having one manager in complete control of the club at all level.

Arteta's appointment would fit into that structure, with the former Arsenal captain making a big impression in his role on Pep Guardiola's coaching staff at Manchester City this season.

Guardiola stated on Sunday that he would not stand in Arteta's way if he wanted to leave City to take up a more senior coaching role, with Arsenal now appearing to be preparing to make an offer to the Spaniard.

"What we have done this season, Mikel his contribution was outstanding, amazing, we work together so good," said City boss Guardiola.

"If he stays I will be the happiest guy in the world and if he decides to move because he has this offer, this option, I will not say you do not have to go. I want the best for my friends and he's a friend of mine.

"If he decides to go, I will be so sad but I will understand his decision because it's his career, his life, his family, and I am not the right guy to say you don't have to do that.

"But hopefully he can stay and finish what we started together in the upcoming years."

Arteta's appointment would be greeted with scepticism by many Arsenal fans, who were hoping for a big-name appointment such as Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri or three-time Champions League winning boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Yet it appears experienced candidates are not being considered, with sources close to Arsenal refusing to deny Arteta is at the top of their wanted list to replace Wenger.

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