Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Arteta expected to be named new Arsenal head coach

Arsenal hope to finalise their move for Mikel Arteta after Manchester City’s Carabao Cup clash with Oxford United on Wednesday night.

The Gunners have been locked in talks with the 37-year-old throughout the week and are now on the verge of naming their former captain as the replacement for Unai Emery, who was sacked three weeks ago.

Arteta is expected to sign a contract taking him through to 2023 following detailed discussions with the Arsenal hierarchy, including director Josh Kroenke, son of owner Stan.

Talks have accelerated this week after managing director Vinai Venkatesham and director of operations Huss Fahmy were pictured emerging from Arteta's house in the early hours of Monday morning.

City boss Pep Guardiola then confirmed on Tuesday that he was unsure whether his assistant would remain at the Etihad.

“He’s talking with Arsenal and I don’t know what will happen and when but Mikel is an incredible person,” said Guardiola.

“We were so smart to pick him up and now the others want him I’m not surprised.

“He’s a good manager, that’s why he’s done well with us. He’s an adult, he can make up his own mind about what he wants to do.

“I was aware of the meeting with on Sunday night. Mikel has been very honest with me all through this situation but for now he’s still a member of the City staff and part of our group.”

Arteta helped lead Manchester City’s training session as normal on Tuesday with Guardiola, but talks with Arsenal have continued while the two clubs have also held conversations about a compensation package.

Arsenal will have to pay over £1 million to secure the services of the Spaniard, who spent five years in north London as a player between 2011 and 2016 - winning two FA Cups - before he retired and made the move into coaching with Guardiola.

City are travelling down from Manchester this afternoon for their Carabao Cup quarter-final at Oxford United and Arteta is still expected to be on the bench for the last-eight tie at the Kassam Stadium.

But Arsenal then hope to finalise their move for their former midfielder ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton in the Premier League.
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The north London club have their usual pre-match press conference scheduled for 13.30 (GMT) on Thursday afternoon at London Colney.

Interim boss Freddie Ljungberg had been expected to face the media, but that could change with the initial email alert which was sent to press organisations stating that "any changes or further updates will be communicated if required".

When confirmed, Arteta will become the second youngest manager or head coach in Arsenal’s history, behind only Terry Neil, who was 34 when he took the job in 1976.

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