Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta is reportedly being lined up by incoming Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to become part of his backroom staff at the Etihad.
The 34-year-old is out of contract with the Gunners this summer, and while there hasn’t been much in the way of developments over a new deal, it is suggested that he is considering retirement from playing given his injury woes in recent times.
Those injury problems have restricted the former Everton captain to just eight Premier League appearances this season, and with opportunities limited under Arsene Wenger, it is possible that he may call time on his playing career.
Having already started his path in coaching by completing some of his badges and working with Arsenal’s academy, it is claimed that Guardiola would like a reunion with his friend and former teammate at La Masia, as reported by ESPN FC.
It sets up a difficult decision for Wenger who could also be keen on offering Arteta a position, but the report suggests that it will be difficult to keep the Spaniard in north London as he wouldn’t be working with the first team.
In contrast, Guardiola is expected to make him a part of the backroom staff for the senior squad ahead of his first season in charge in the Premier League, as Arteta’s experience and knowledge would undoubtedly benefit him as he looks to settle in immediately.
Should Arteta opt to leave to coach elsewhere, it remains to be seen what the reaction from Arsenal supporters would be.
Seeing club icon Patrick Vieira work with City with a view of perhaps one day becoming their first-team coach has left some Gunners fans disappointed and frustrated that they weren’t able to offer the Frenchman a position at the club he served so well as a player.
Naturally, Arteta isn’t on the same level as Vieira in terms of influence or popularity, but it could be seen as another blow to the club in keeping former players involved.