Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stated that Mikel Arteta could well join Manchester City this summer and become part of the Etihad Stadium outfit’s coaching team.
Rumours in the European press have insinuated that Citizens’ manager-in-waiting Pep Guardiola wants his countryman in Manchester to play a role in the back room staff.
Arteta has had injury concerns this term at the Emirates Stadium and is out of contract at the end of the season, with a North London exit looking increasingly likely.
The Spaniard has been an important player for Wenger’s side in recent years but his influence has waned as age has caught up with the former Rangers star.
Wenger has hailed Arteta’s influence at Arsenal but admitted that there was every chance that the veteran could join City in the summer.
“It is possible,” The Guardian quote the Frenchman as saying.
“It is true that he is out of contract here and when his contract finishes it is a good opportunity for me to thank him for his contribution, not only as a player but also as a leader.
“What kind of orientation will he give now to his career? I heard about that possibility but he could inform you much better than I can. He is free to decide to do what he wants, he will certainly need some time to reflect on whether he continues to play.
“I still think he can play, in the last months he has come back to a very good physical level and he is a position today where he can continue to play and he would be a very good player everywhere.”
Arteta has not started a Premier League game for the Gunners this season but made eight brief appearances from the bench over the course of the campaign.
Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny are now Wenger’s first-choice pairing in central midfield.