Arsenal looking to seal Arteta swoop

Arsenal will be hoping to wrap up talks with Manchester City as they seek to appoint former player Mikel Arteta as their new head coach.

Negotiations remain ongoing between the two Premier League clubs, with a compensation package for the City assistant coach yet to be agreed.

The Gunners had fuelled speculation of an imminent announcement of Unai Emery’s permanent successor by postponing Thursday afternoon’s scheduled press conference.

Mikel Arteta was present at Oxford on Wednesday night for Manchester City’s Carabao Cup win
Mikel Arteta, right, was present at Oxford on Wednesday night for Manchester City’s Carabao Cup win (Mike Egerton/PA)

Spaniard Arteta, who played for the Gunners from 2011 to 2016, reportedly said his farewells to staff at City on Thursday morning.

The 37-year-old, who made 110 top-flight appearances for Arsenal before retiring in 2016, is poised to take up his first managerial role after three years as Pep Guardiola’s assistant.

Freddie Ljungberg has been in temporary charge of the Gunners since Spaniard Emery was sacked on November 29.

The Swede, who on Thursday afternoon had been expected to face the media at the club’s training ground ahead of Saturday’s game at Everton, has overseen just one victory in his five-match tenure.

Arsenal are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and the same number clear of the relegation zone following Sunday’s 3-0 home defeat to Arteta’s current club.

That result led to the Gunners’ hierarchy stepping up their plans to recruit Emery’s long-term replacement, with managing director Vinai Venkatesham pictured outside Arteta’s house in the early hours of Monday morning.

Freddie Ljungberg, pictured, has been in temporary charge of Arsenal since the sacking of Unai Emery
Freddie Ljungberg, pictured, has been in temporary charge of Arsenal since the sacking of Unai Emery (Adam Davy/PA)

It is understood City are unhappy that Arsenal did not ask for permission to speak to Guardiola’s assistant and are especially annoyed because no approach was made when club officials met for last weekend’s fixture at the Emirates Stadium.

City, however, do not have an issue with Arteta and will allow him to decide his own future.

Arteta was in City’s dugout alongside Guardiola on Wednesday night as the Premier League champions won 3-1 at League One Oxford to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

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