Manchester City appears to be preparing for life without manager Pep Guardiola once his contract expires in 18-months time.
That’s according to a recent report from The Athletic, who claims the Citizens are keeping a close eye on the performances of former assistant manager Mikel Arteta.
Arteta, 39, worked alongside Guardiola for three years from 2016-19, adding to the club’s solid coaching foundations which undoubtedly played a major role in the side lifting five major trophies in that same period of time.
However, after being offered the chance to manage a club for himself, Arteta opted to depart City in favour of a reunion with Arsenal, one of his old clubs, at the back end of the 2019-20 season.
Although Arteta went on to lift the FA Cup trophy just a couple of months after taking over from Unai Emery, the start of the current 2021-22 season saw the 39-year-old come under immense pressure following a series of damaging results.
However, sticking to his philosophy of mixing experience with technically gifted young guns, Arteta’s Arsenal has since managed to turn their fortunes around at the halfway stage of the season.
Currently boasting a record of five wins from their last six matches, in all competitions, the Londoners now sit fourth in the Premier League table – one point above cross-town rivals Spurs and four clear of Ralf Rangnick’s struggling Manchester United.
Arsenal could fall victim to their manager’s own success though – with the Spaniard’s contract set to run until the same time Guardiola’s at City is, the turn of the 2023-24 season could see somewhat of a managerial merry-go-round.
Although the Gunners have shown Arteta tremendous loyalty, especially through earlier spells of awful results, there are no guarantees the 39-year-old will remain with the club for the foreseeable future.
It has been noted that Arteta’s former employees admire the work he is doing in the country’s capital and after already being viewed as a potential successor to Guardiola, strong interest for the ex-midfielder to one day take over at the Etihad remains.