Mikel Arteta looks to have taken another significant step towards becoming the next permanent Arsenal manager, as a report claims he will undergo his final interview with Josh Kroenke on Monday evening, before a decision is made over his appointment.
The current Manchester City assistant manager watched on as the side he served for five years as a player were taken apart by the Premier League champions. The 3-0 defeat marked Arsenal’s second defeat in four league games under the interim guidance of Freddie Ljungberg.
The Gunners have been without a permanent head coach since parting company with Unai Emery earlier this month, and Arteta – who was close to becoming manager prior to Emery’s appointment 18 months ago – has been among the frontrunners to succeed his countryman ever since.
Officials from Arsenal were pictured leaving Arteta’s house after late-night talks on Sunday evening, something which is believed to have upset City, who are not keen to lose a promising coach who has flourished under the guidance of Pep Guardiola over the last three-and-a-half years.
However, the 37-year-old is believed to be itching to take the next step in his coaching career, and according to The Mail, he will meet with Kroenke on Monday evening to conclude a three-part interview process.
If successful, then it will be over to Arsenal to agree a compensation deal with City, before an official announcement can be made over his appointment.
And that’s when the begging starts. They’ll come to me and say: ‘Ooh, Arteta you were right all along, you were the right man for this job. Will you come back?’ I’ll be like: ‘Yeah, sure how much money have you got? Cos this is going to cost ya, this is going to cost ya…’ pic.twitter.com/PfVfx6pOTB
— Chas Newkey-Burden (@allthatchas) December 16, 2019
It will see him return to the club for the first time since 2016, when he retired to join Guardiola’s coaching staff at City.
As a player, Arteta starred for Arsenal after a £10m switch from Everton in 2011, going on to captain them to the 2014 FA Cup and Community Shields in 2014 and 2015.
He made 149 appearances for Arsenal in total, becoming a hugely popular figure around the Emirates, and that reputation will only be boosted if he can help turn their faltering season around from the managerial hot seat.
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