Former Arsenal captain, Mikel Arteta is set to return to the Gunners as their new manager, according to reports, which said the London club has stepped up its chase of the Manchester City assistant coach.
Talks have begun between the two clubs and are positive, according to sources.
Chief negotiator, Huss Fahmy and managing director, Vinai Venkatesham travelled to Manchester after Arsenal’s defeat to City on Sunday afternoon and spent more than two hours at Arteta’s home in Cheshire. They discussed the job with the former Gunners club captain.
Arteta, 37, spent five years at the Emirates under Arsene Wenger (2011 to 2016) before spending the last three-and-a-half years as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad. He still has a contract with City until the end of the season but he is keen on rejoining Arsenal.
Things could go really quickly now as well. Arteta was set to meet Josh Kroenke, the son of owner Stan Kroenke, yesterday.
The American was at the game on Sunday and will interview the Spaniard alongside Raul Sanllehi, the head of football at the club and Venkatesham and Fahmy.
Arteta was nearly handed the job 18 months ago, but Unai Emery was preferred by then-CEO Ivan Gazidis.
Freddie Ljungberg has been interim manager since the sacking of Emery last month but the Swede, who pleaded with the club to resolve its manager situation quickly, has struggled to have an impact. The former Gunner could remain in Arteta’s staff, though, if the Spaniard does indeed replace him.
Arteta certainly lacks managerial experience as he has never been in charge of a club’s first team before but he is highly thought of by the Arsenal hierarchy and by the people who have worked with him at Manchester City.
The Gunners are in crisis at the moment with just one win in their last 12 matches in all competitions. Yet, they are still only seven points from fourth place in the table and sources say Arteta believes he can turn things around once in charge.
Reports also say that former Liverpool manager, Carlo Ancellotti has agreed to take over Everton.
The Liverpool-based Everton has former striker, Duncan Ferguson as their interim manager.