Pep Guardiola discusses possibility of Mikel Arteta departing Man City for Arsenal

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has today opened up on the prospect of right-hand man Mikel Arteta taking over at Premier League rivals Arsenal.

Arsenal held

Unai Emery’s Gunners welcomed Southampton to the Emirates on Saturday, for a Premier League clash.

Arsenal headed into proceedings amid a dismal run of form of late, having failed to win any of their previous 5 across all competitions.

This left the capital giants a hefty 8 points off the top-4 ahead of the latest round of fixtures.

When all was said and done in north London, though, the hosts’ woes only heightened.

A disjointed display, during which Southampton enjoyed the better of the chances, and should really have snatched all 3 points, saw Arsenal forced to fight back from behind on a pair of occasions to clinch a point.

Alexandre Lacazette bagged both goals for the home side, with Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse having been on target for the Saints.

Emery out, Arteta in?

As such, on the back of just the latest in a string of sub-par performances from his side, pressure is inevitably beginning to mount on Unai Emery.

Calls are growing ever-louder amongst the Arsenal faithful for the Spaniard to be sacked, with a number of potential replacements having already been touted.

Chief among the rumoured candidates, meanwhile, is Mikel Arteta.

Manchester City no.2 Arteta was tipped to take the reins at his former club in the summer of 2018, before Unai Emery’s appointment.

Reports from the likes of the Times over the last 48 hours, meanwhile, suggest that the Spaniard remains a front-runner to replace his fellow countryman at the Emirates.

‘Don’t know what is going to happen’

As such, speaking to the media earlier today, Pep Guardiola was drawn on the possibility of his right-hand man making a return to north London.

And, though the Man City boss was quick to reveal his hope that Arteta remains in Manchester for ‘as long as possible’, Guardiola added that he does not know what the future holds for his assistant:

‘I think for my news Unai Emery is manager for Arsenal, so…’

‘Of course he [Arteta] will be a manager sooner or later. If I was in his position, as an assistant coach as young as he is, always we will have that.’

Mikel Arteta looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

‘Now we are going to finish this season. In the future I don’t know what is going to happen.’

Guardiola continued:

‘I would like honestly for him to stay with us as long as possible. Not just Pep, Manchester City has an incredibly valuable person to work in this club for the future. But personal life is personal life. Professional desires are professional, each one. Everyone, not just me, are more than satisfied to have him here. But what will happen at the end of the season I don’t know.’

Quotes via the Metro

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