Arsenal board identify Mikel Arteta to replace sacked Unai Emery

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Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta is the top target to replace sacked manager Unai Emery, according to reports. Struggling Arsenal are searching for a new manager after pulling the plug on Emery’s underwhelming 18-month reign in north London.

Emery arrived at the Emirates with a fine reputation, having won the Ligue 1 title at PSG and three Europa Leagues at Sevilla, but ultimately failed and lost his job on Friday morning.

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta

While Freddie Ljungberg has been placed in temporary charge of the Gunners, the Arsenal board have been drawing up a shortlist of managers to succeed Emery on a full-time basis.

Mauricio Pochettino, Brendan Rodgers, Max Allegri, Patrick Vieira and Nuno Espirito Santo have all been linked with the vacant position at the Emirates but Arsenal have made Arteta their top target.

Mirror Sport say Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City assistant Arteta has emerged as Arsenal’s first-choice target, with the Gunners hoping to replace one Spanish manager with another.

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Arteta is believed to be keen on the job, having enjoyed a spell at Arsenal as a player, while Guardiola is open to allowing his deputy to leave to further his career.

The City coach was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal after Arsene Wenger’s departure in 2018 but former chief executive Ivan Gazidis favoured Emery. While losing Arteta midway through the season would not be ideal, the Mirror claim Guardiola has an ideal replacement waiting in the wings in Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City in discussion with assistant Mikel Arteta during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Etihad Stadium on May 06, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 06: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City in discussion with assistant Mikel Arteta during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Etihad Stadium on May 06, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC

Asked about the speculation linking Arteta with a move to Arsenal, Guardiola said last week: ‘Of course he will be a manager sooner or later.

‘If I was in his position, as an assistant coach as young as he is, always we will have that. Now we are going to finish this season and in the future I don’t know what is going to happen.

’ Arsenal director Josh Kroenke, meanwhile, says the process of replacing Emery is ‘underway’ but insists the club will take their time due to their faith in Ljungberg.

‘Our process is already underway,’ he said on Saturday. ‘It’s going to be led by Raul, Vinai, Edu and Huss here internally. ‘I look forward to getting with them and working closely with them throughout this process.

‘Because of our confidence in Freddie we’re very fortunate that we’re going to be entering into our process and doing a thorough search and it’s about finding the right candidate, it’s not about finding the first candidate.’

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