Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said the club has not received any approaches for his assistant Mikel Arteta, amid speculation linking the Spaniard with a move to Arsenal or Everton.
Arteta, a former player for both the Gunners and the Toffees, has developed a strong reputation as one of the best coaches in the game, becoming a vital part of Guardiola's staff.
After Arsenal and Everton sacked Unai Emery and Marco Silva, respectively, recently, he has been mentioned as a contender for both vacant posts. However, Guardiola said there's nothing to indicate the 37-year-old will be leaving the club anytime soon, per Sky Sports:
"He travelled to Burnley (on Tuesday) and tomorrow he will be close to me again against United. He will be here until the end of the season, I think so.
"...I'm not a guy that puts a gun to the heads of my staff or players and says what they have to do. We are human beings and everyone has dreams and desires. Hopefully he can stay this season and the next one—as long as possible in this club. That would be my dream, but Mikel has his own life and I will never say what he has to do.
"I arrived here and we were in touch about working together and the time we have spent together has been magnificent. I tried to help him and he has helped me a lot. He knows what I want and what the club wants."
Per BBC Sport's Simon Stone, Guardiola also suggested Arteta could potentially be his successor at the Etihad Stadium:
In the summer of 2018, Arteta was strongly linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium following the departure of Arsene Wenger.
Eventually, the club opted to bring in Unai Emery, and following a turbulent year-and-a-half in north London, he was given his marching orders. Freddie Ljungberg has taken charge of the previous two games, and after the 2-1 loss to Brighton, the Gunners are nine games without a win.
Meanwhile, Everton are in 18th in the Premier League after their 5-2 loss to Liverpool on Wednesday.
Oliver Kay of The Athletic thinks Arteta may look at both clubs and think twice about making a switch:
Oliver Kay @OliverKay
Interesting dilemma for Arteta IF he's offered Arsenal/Everton. He wanted Arsenal job post-Wenger, but 18 months later, they & Everton are such a mess and he's 18 months closer to (potentially) taking over from Guardiola. Unpopular, unsolicited opinion: stay where you are, Mikel https://t.co/eseZ1Vzqvq
Given the success City have enjoyed since Arteta arrived at the club, Sam Lee of The Athletic said he can see why he would stick around:
In Guardiola, there's no doubt Arteta is working alongside one of the best managers in the world, not to mention some of the finest footballers. That experience will be valuable when he does eventually move into the world of management.
For the fans of Arsenal and Everton, the former midfielder would represent an exciting appointment. But given the respective plights of both clubs, the key decision-makers may deem Arteta to be too much of a risk.