Mikel Arteta ‘Desperate’ for Arsenal Head Coach Role But Seeks Assurances Over Long-Term Project

​Mikel Arteta is keen to tie down the Arsenal head coach role, but wants guarantees from the board about their long-term project and his role in it.

Freddie Ljungberg has taken temporary charge of the Gunners following the sacking of Unai Emery, guiding his side to four points from his first three matches at the helm in a mixed start for the former ‘Invincible’.

Meanwhile, the Spaniard is a former captain of the club and won two FA Cup trophies during his near 150-game spell in north London, having moved from Everton in 2011. Arteta has since been working under Pep Guardiola at ​Manchester City as his fellow countryman’s number two after calling an end to his playing career at the completion of the 2015/16 season. 

Upon Arsene Wenger’s departure from ​Arsenal in the summer of 2018, Arteta was among the leading candidates to succeed the Frenchman, but ultimately lost out on the position to Emery and remained Guardiola’s right-hand man.

One again the 37-year-old has been linked with taking the reins at the Emirates Stadium, however, while ​90min understands that he sits alongside Patrick Vieira as the club’s primary candidates for the role. Furthermore, unrest in the City camp following a string of poor results has prompted the former midfielder to seek a change of role.

Adding to that, ​The Sun are claiming at Arteta is ‘desperate’ not to miss out on the opportunity, but will seek certain assurances over the position before committing to the Gunners. 

Mikel Arteta

The report quotes a ‘source’ at City, who said: “Mikel wants the job but wants to know what is on offer and guarantees from them. He will then speak to the club. Nothing is going to happen before the end of this week from what we can tell.

“Mikel is conflicted because of his relationship with Pep and feeling for City after the years there. He has been excellent since he got here and there is a feeling he is going to be a top manager one day.”

Arsenal face City in the ​​Premier League on Sunday, with the reigning champions unwilling to allow Arteta to leave before that fixture. In fact, they would prefer a move at the end of the season, and are even considering Arteta taking over Guardiola’s position if and when he leaves the club.

What the aforementioned assurances are have not been fully divulged, but one can expect they will resolve around the long-term plan of the club, as well as whether or not Arteta will be granted funding to invest in the squad over the coming windows. 

Equally, the futures of key stars Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are yet to be finalised, with it likely the Spaniard would be keen to tie the strike duo down to longer contracts.

While Vieira and Arteta are among those in consideration, they are not the only ones in the frame. Indeed, a four-man panel of Raul Sanllehi, Edu, Vinai Venkatesham and Huss Fahmy are mulling over a shortlist that includes the likes of Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, Mauricio Pochettino and Carlo Ancelotti, the latter of whom was recently sacked in charge of SSC Napoli.

The Athletic’s ​David Ornstein has added that if Arsenal are unable to secure their number one target until the summer, then Ljungberg will remain in the hotseat.


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