Arsene Wenger has confirmed the possibility of Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta joining Pep Guardiola at Manchester City next season.
The 34-year-old Arsenal midfielder has spent most of the season injured, and his contract with the Gunners is set to expire this summer. His injury-prone nature coupled with his unclear future may lead the Spaniard to consider retirement sooner rather than later.
However, according to Arsene Wenger’s recent comments, even if Arteta does retire as a footballer, the former Everton man will still be involved with Premier League football.
As per a report given by The Daily Mail, Manchester City’s new incoming boss Pep Guardiola wants his fellow compatriot Mikel Arteta at the Etihad next season as a part of his coaching staff. The deal would benefit both parties, considering Arteta’s 13-year experience in the Premier League (at both Everton and Arsenal) and his knowledge of both Guardiola and English football.
The rumour seemed highly bizarre, given Arteta’s non-existent managerial experience and the minimal link he shares with Guardiola thanks to the short time the midfielder spent at Barcelona during his early career, until Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hinted that is may indeed be true.
When asked about the rumour, Arsene Wenger was quoted as saying: “It’s possible. It’s true that he is out of contract here. His contract finishes here. It’s a good opportunity for me to thank him for his contribution not only as a player but as a leader.
“I heard about that possibility (of Arteta going to City) but he is able to inform you much better than I. He is free to decide to do what he wants, he will certainly need some time to reflect on whether he continues to play.
“I still think he can play, in the last months he has come back to a very good physical level and he is a position today where he can continue to play and he would be a very good player.”