Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expects Mikel Arteta’s future to be decided quickly after he held talks with Arsenal.
Arteta, currently an assistant to Guardiola, is a strong favourite to replace Unai Emery as Gunners head coach.
The City boss is eager for the matter to be resolved in the near future as he prepares for an EFL Cup quarter-final against Oxford United on Wednesday.
Asked if he wants a decision to be made soon, Guardiola said on Tuesday: “Yes, I think so. It’s going to happen quick. I don’t know [if it will happen before the end of the week].
“Tomorrow we travel to Oxford, so I don’t know.”
PEP Mikel is travelling to Oxford with us tomorrow.
We were so smart to pick him up and the other clubs missed it. He’s an incredible person, good manager. Work ethic. That’s why he is what he is.
He’s talking with Arsenal so I don’t know. https://t.co/bZFI3MyimH
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 17, 2019
The former Barcelona boss wants Arteta to stay with the Premier League champions but has plans in place if his fellow Spaniard departs.
Guardiola said: “We will move forward. We are going to prepare the next game. We are going to reschedule a little bit the position but we are talking about a ‘hypothetic’.
“[Arteta] knows the desire and what we would like but after that, if finally he decides to leave for another club, we will make a decision in that moment of what we have to do.
“In this moment we prepare for the game and the team that is going to play [on Wednesday], the starting 11, and he prepares his part of the training, as always we have done in the last three-and-a-half years.”
Guardiola suggested Arteta would have a tough task restoring Arsenal to their former glories.
“I don’t know. I think Arsenal was always one of the best teams of the last 20 years,” Guardiola said when asked if Arteta can take Arsenal to the level City are at.
“When Arsene [Wenger] took over the team, he raised the club to another level and now they are struggling a little bit the last years.
“When the club takes a decision to replace the manager or buy players it’s always to rise to be better. Whether it’s going to happen or not, I don’t know.
“You know my opinion about Mikel. If he stays I’d be happy, incredible, because we all work together really well – hopefully he can feel the same as me or with us.
“If he decides to move I’ll wish him all the best, for him, his family and for his professional future. I will beat him – that’s a joke! The best of luck.”
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