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Manchester City have reportedly given Mikel Arteta a “green light” to enter negotiations with Arsenal about succeeding Arsene Wenger as manager.
The Spaniard is currently on the Premier League champions’ coaching staff but is the favourite to take the Arsenal job. Per Jose Gonzalez of Sport, Sky Blues manager Pep Guardiola and director of football Txiki Begiristain have given him their blessing to move on.
The report added Arteta, 36, is eager to take up the opportunity. He played for the Gunners between 2011 and 2016 before taking up the assistant manager position at City upon his retirement. He has never held a senior management post.
As a result, some have questioned whether Arteta is the right man to succeed Wenger at Arsenal after the Frenchman’s near 22-year reign at the club. Former Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen, who had a brief spell in charge of Fulham, expressed his doubts to BBC Radio 5 Live:
BBC Radio 5 live @bbc5live
Giving Mikel Arteta the @Arsenal job is “too much of a risk” says former Man Utd no.2, René Meulensteen.
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney was among those to back Arteta’s candidacy, though:
Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney
Personally think Arteta a better choice than some older coaches who have now been round the block. They don’t need stability. What’s being stabilised? They need energy.
Wenger’s departure is set to cause upheaval at Arsenal no matter who takes over.
Others linked to the the job have included Juventus’ Max Allegri, former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, Gunners legend Patrick Vieira, Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann, Germany boss Joachim Low and Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli, per Matt Law in the Telegraph.
However, in recent days Arteta has become the clear front-runner.
The Daily Mail’s Steve Stammers and Sami Mokbel reported earlier this week that Arsenal have undergone a major clear-out of backroom staff to make way for the new manager’s team.
Despite his managerial inexperience, Arteta is a recent player and captain at the Emirates Stadium and is sure to understand the culture and style at the club. He will also command the respect of the players, many of whom he played alongside.