According to esteemed Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio, Mikel Arteta has left his post at Manchester City ahead of an imminent appointment as next permanent Arsenal manager. The Spaniard reportedly has the permission of Man City to leave for Arsenal, passing what was likely the biggest hurdle to his appointment. Fellow freelance reporter Fabrizio Romano corroborated this report.
Arteta to Arsenal has seemed imminent for at least the last 24 hours, but to this point all reports had indicated that talks had not progressed to a point where he would depart his assistant manager job alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, and would be on location for Man City’s game at Oxford United today in Carabao Cup action.
However, di Marzio’s report seems to indicate that Arteta will not be with the club today as he veers towards the Arsenal position. All this could be confirmed or denied simply by Arteta’s presence, or lack thereof, at the game later today.
[ UPDATE: Arteta was on the touchline for Man CIty’s game at Oxford United as reports swirl about the club’s frustration at having not yet received an official approach from Arsenal for Arteta. ]
The Gunners play Everton this weekend, and a Sky Sports report earlier this morning indicated that Arsenal hopes to have the deal done in time for Arteta to take charge of the match on Saturday at Goodison Park. Clearly the club is working quickly to have structure and consistency through the festive fixtures.
Former Arsenal player Freddie Ljungberg has been in charge since the dismissal of Unai Emery at the end of November, and while he has kept the squad together and sentiments seem to have improved, fortunes on the pitch haven’t necessarily turned around. Ljungberg did see through a 3-1 victory over West Ham to break the club’s seven-match Premier League winless run, but that is the only victory among his four league matches in charge, and even that game required a comeback to secure all three points.
After the Everton match, Arsenal has games against Bournemouth, Chelsea, and Manchester United through the holiday season and into the 2020 calendar year.