Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal could lose Mikel Arteta to Manchester City after Pep Guardiola reportedly made the Spanish midfielder a 'firm offer'.
Carles Planchart, Domenec Torrent and fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura will all arrive in Manchester alongside Guardiola this summer, but several other new additions to the backroom set-up are expected.
A report in the Daily Mail claims Guardiola is ready to give the veteran Spaniard a place within his coaching staff ahead of the new season.
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Arteta, 34, is still a player but is widely expected to call time on his playing career at the end of the current campaign. He has struggled with incessant injuries for much of the last two years and has been going through his coaching badges with Arsenal.
Despite being considered a valuable member of the dressing room – he is officially still the Arsenal captain – Arteta is looking for a fresh challenge after five years in north London.
And the chance to learn his coaching trade under Guardiola will surely be too irresistible to turn down. The pair are thought to share a close relationship and have already met to discuss the potential role he can play at the Etihad.
Wenger seemed to suggest that Arteta was on his way out in his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, but also wondered whether a move into coaching would be premature for a man still capable of contributing on the pitch.
A chance he could go
Speaking ahead of Sunday's game against the Citizens, he said: “It is possible.
“I heard about the possibility [of joining Manchester City], but he could inform you much better than I can. He is free to decide to do what he wants, he will certainly need some time to reflect on whether he continues to play.
“It is true that he is out of contract here and when his contract finishes it is a good opportunity for me to thank him for his contribution, not only as a player but also as a leader.
“I still think he can play, in the last months he has come back to a very good physical level and he is a position today where he can continue to play and he would be a very good player everywhere.”
But it seems Arteta's mind is already made up. The report from the Mail claims that while no official contract has been signed, he is already looking for houses in the North West to relocate his young family.
Their connection goes way back to when Arteta was learning his trade in La Masia and Guardiola was a first-team regular. They have stayed in contact ever since and look set to finally reunite in the near future.