Man City in dark over talks as Arteta emerges as Arsenal's top target

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Manchester City have been left baffled that Arsenal failed to mention any interest in Mikel Arteta despite the coach being lined up as the Gunners' next manager.

Arsenal's managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, and director of football operations, Huss Fahmy, were pictured leaving Arteta's home in Manchester in the early hours of Monday morning .

The Gunners have been searching for a permanent manager since they sacked Unai Emery on November 29 following a disastrous start to the season, which culminated in a seven-match winless run.

Arteta has emerged as Arsenal's top target, with Freddie Ljungberg failing to impress as the interim manager.

According to Goal's sources, the 37-year-old is set for more talks with the club and a final decision is expected this week.

However, City are understood to be unhappy with the way the north London club have handled the matter – although they are not angry with Arteta himself.

Executives from both clubs were at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday as City beat Arsenal 3-0, with Arteta sitting alongside Pep Guardiola in the visitors' dugout.

But there were no discussions over the future of the 37-year-old, who spent five years at Arsenal as a player.

Arteta was at training on Monday following the late-night meeting and is expected at the Etihad Campus on Tuesday ahead of the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Oxford United the following night.

A number of high-profile names have been linked with the Arsenal job including Massimiliano Allegri, Brendan Rodgers and former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Arteta was close to being given the role when Arsene Wenger ended his 22-year reign at the club in 2018, but some board members were worried about his lack of experience.

Guardiola appointed him to his coaching staff after his retirement from playing and he is become an increasing influence in the dressing room after taking over as the number two when Domenec Torrent left for New York City FC.

He is hugely popular with the players and has worked closely with Guardiola, who has said he is ready for a top job.

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"When he wants to talk we are open to talk but it's private, I don't want to make things uncomfortable," the City boss said about a possible move, with Everton also linked with Arteta.

The Premier League champions will be due compensation if he decides to leave the club.

Arteta has also been touted as a potential successor to Guardiola, who has 18 months remaining on his City contract.