Is Mikel Arteta on his way to Arsenal?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 14 May 2018, 09:10

It’s over, the reign is over.

Arsene Wenger's 1235th and final Arsenal match, a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield,  brought a winning end to his staggering 22-year tenure at the club.

We may never see anything like it ever again.

Attention now instantly switches to who will replace him in the dugout, and at the time of writing (Monday) it's the same familiar names that remain in the frame.

We are talking Juventus manager Max Allegri, fellow Italian Carlo Ancelotti, the soon to be departed PSG boss Unai Emery, and a brace of former Gunners midfield maestros in Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta.

The latter of which now finds himself as the 6/4 favourite in the Next Arsenal Manager Market.

Rumours are rife that Arteta, who has spent the last two years working as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Man City, is set to return to the Emirates in what would be his first role in senior management.

Arsenal are reportedly keen to appoint a young and upcoming coach, but while their former skipper may not have the managerial experience, he’s been learning the tricks of the trade under one of the best bosses in the business.

Guardiola, who led City to a record-breaking 100 Premier League points, addressed the rumours linking Arteta, 36, with the Arsenal job:

"I want the best for my friends, and he is a friend of mine.

"What we have done this season, Mikel, his contribution was outstanding, amazing. So if he stays I will be happiest guy in the world. If he decides to move because he has this offer, this option, I will not say you don’t have to go.

"If he decides to go, I will be so sad, but I will understand his decision, because it’s his career, his life, his family. And I am not right guy to say you don’t have to do that."

Arteta spent five years at Arsenal between 2011 and 2016, during which he lifted the FA Cup and a couple of Community Shields.

It will now be interesting to see how this story develops in the aftermath of Wenger’s departure.

Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann is another manager that has attracted interest, while over the weekend the second-favourite for the post, Allegri, hoisted his fourth consecutive Serie A title with Juventus, who have now won the league and cup double in each of his four seasons in charge.

The Italian is believed to be tempted by a switch to the Premier League, but for now is eager to have one more crack at winning the Champions League with Juventus.

Emery would not doubt jump at the chance to manage Arsenal, while Luis Enrique’s wage demands could well have priced him out of the running.

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