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Report: Arsenal Set to Name Manchester City's Mikel Arteta as Next Manager

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIDecember 16, 2019

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Mikel Arteta the assistant head coach / manager of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Manchester City at Turf Moor on December 3, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly set to name Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta as their new manager after holding positive talks with the 37-year-old.

The Spaniard is the club's top choice to replace Unai Emery and will meet Arsenal director Josh Kroenke "in the next couple of days to finalise his move," according to Jason Burt and Sam Dean at the Telegraph.

Arteta spent two hours discussing the job with Arsenal's chief negotiator, Huss Fahmy, and managing director Vinai Venkatesham on Sunday after their 3-0 defeat to Manchester City, per Julien Laurens at ESPN FC.

Arteta knows Arsenal well, having spent five years at the club as a player under Arsene Wenger. The midfielder made 149 appearances between 2011 and 2016 and won the FA Cup twice with the Gunners.

The former Barcelona youth player moved on to a coaching role with Manchester City after hanging up his boots in 2016, working alongside manager Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola said on Sunday he is open to the idea of Arteta leaving the club:

Goal @goal

Guardiola was asked about Arteta to Arsenal 🤔 https://t.co/2zOw3o8l1W

Arteta lacks managerial experience but came close to being appointed Arsenal boss in 2018. However, the move was blocked by then-chief executive Ivan Gazidis, and Emery was appointed instead, per Neil Moxley at the Mirror.

Arsenal sacked Emery in November after 18 months in charge following a run of seven games without a win in all competitions. 

The Gunners have placed former midfielder Freddie Ljungberg in temporary charge, but results have barely improved. The team have won only one of five games under the Swede and continue to leak goals:

Orbinho @Orbinho

Arsenal have conceded 10 goals in five games under Freddie Ljungberg. The first task of any coach who comes in to a struggling side should be to find a way to stem the flow of goals conceded.

Per the Guardian's Nick Ames, Jacob Steinberg and David Hytner, Arsenal could have been willing to give Ljungberg until the end of the season to prove his worth.

However, recent results have left Arsenal just seven points above the relegation zone and suggest a decision needs to be made quickly. Ljungberg also called for clarity after Sunday's 3-0 home Premier League defeat to City, per Mark Mann-Bryans at the Evening Standard.

"I think, as I've said to the club, it's a great, great honour to do this," he said. "Of course, Per (Mertesacker) is the academy manager and he's doing two jobs in one go. I think it needs clearing up to make a decision so that everybody knows."

Appointing Arteta would represent a gamble for Arsenal given his lack of managerial experience but would not be a surprise given Manchester United have appointed former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Chelsea replaced Maurizio Sarri with Frank Lampard.

However, both Solskjaer and Lampard had worked as managers before taking on their new roles, unlike Arteta who has never taken charge of a first team in his career.

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