Pep Guardiola is ready to consider offering Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta a place in his Manchester City coaching lineup, but only if the midfielder decides to hang up his boots at the end of the season.
Arteta is still the official leader of the Arsenal team but a series of calf injuries has seen him limited to just 45 minutes of first-team football this season. Although only 33-years-old, his injury problems, coupled with a strong desire to move into coaching, could see his playing days come to an end in the near future.
His Arsenal contract expires this summer and Arsene Wenger is unlikely to offer him a new one. There could, however, be more than one deal on the table with regards to coaching. According to The Times, Guardiola, who shares a close relationship with Arteta, wants him at the Etihad.
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Having both come from the La Masia academy in Barcelona, Arteta and Guardiola share a close relationship as well as a similar football philosophy. The difference, of course, is that the former has 11-years experience in Premier League football, which could prove invaluable to the current Bayern Munich manager.
It is claimed in the same report that Arteta recently travelled to Bayern Munich's training complex, Sabener Strasse, to discuss his future with Guardiola and his fitness coach, Lorenzo Buenaventura. Arteta would have told him how he has used his time out injured to complete his coaching badges, taking sessions with Arsenal's Under-13s and the Wales Under-16s in the recent past.
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It seems inevitable that Wenger will also give Arteta the chance to join his own coaching team at Arsenal's London Colney, but that is not necessarily the case. Although the Frenchman is a huge admirer of Arteta, he recently admitted he had no “real need” to bolster his coaching roster at this moment in time.
That comment suggests Arteta will be on his way out of Arsenal, essentially handing one of the league's most intelligent and experienced players to a Premier League title rival. And it is a situation Gunners fans have seen in the recent past after former captain Patrick Vieira joined Manchester City's development programme instead of Arsenal's.
Vieira, who finished his playing career with the Citizens, managed their elite development squad before being handed the chance to take charge of MLS outfit New York City FC. It is believed the former France international is being moulded to eventually take charge of Manchester City although Arsenal may also attempt to bring him back as Wenger's eventual successor.