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Guardiola backs Arsenal-linked Arteta to be a boss ‘sooner or later’ after Man City apprenticeship

17:24 GMT+3 25/11/2019
Mikel Arteta Arsenal
The Blues manager is tipping a fellow Spaniard to leave his side at some point, with the former Gunners captain seeing a return to north London mooted

Mikel Arteta will “be a manager sooner or later”, says Pep Guardiola, with the former Arsenal captain being linked with a return to north London from Manchester City.

The Spaniard, who spent the final five years of his playing career with the Gunners, is considered to be among the candidates to succeed the under-fire Unai Emery at Emirates Stadium.

There is no position for the 37-year-old to fill at present, but calls for change are growing at Arsenal.

Guardiola sees no reason why Arteta should not be considered for any prominent posts that become available, with his fellow Spaniard having served a coaching apprenticeship by his side at the Etihad Stadium.

Quizzed on the Arsenal talk at his latest press conference, the City boss told reporters: “I think Emery is the manager of Arsenal.

“Of course he’ll [Arteta] be a manager sooner or later, he’s young, always he’ll have that. We are going to finish the season and in future I don’t know what will happen.”

Guardiola added on his right-hand man, who helped City to an historic domestic treble in 2018-19: “I’d like him to stay with us as much as possible.

“Manchester City has an incredibly valuable person to work in this club for the future, but personal life is personal life and professional desire is for professionals and everyone, not just me, is more than satisfied to have him here but what happens at the end of the season I don’t know.”

Arteta was first linked with a managerial role at Arsenal when it was revealed that Arsene Wenger would be standing down from a post he had occupied for 22 years.

Emery was handed the reins instead, but a man who took in 149 appearances for the Gunners may yet return to familiar surroundings and fulfil his potential in an off-field capacity.

Guardiola added: “He was an incredible player, normally holding midfielders have a vision on the pitch. When you are a striker, you think of the goals and keepers save it but the holding midfielder is an incredible lesson during your period as a football player to learn what happens, you go to school, you read it, you understand it completely. And he was so clever in that.

“More than that he’s an incredible human being and has a work ethic.

“After a few months together, I said this guy will be a manager sooner or later. He's already a manager, he behaves as a manager, that’s why we are satisfied to have him here.”

Arteta will be at Guardiola’s side on Tuesday when City take in a Champions League home date with Shakhtar Donetsk.