Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has denied any wrongdoing in the club’s pursuit of new boss Mikel Arteta.

Manchester City, where Arteta operated as No.2 to Pep Guardiola, were left furious by the Gunners’ push to make the Spaniard Unai Emery’s successor.

City chiefs claimed that they had received no formal contact regarding Arteta, despite Arsenal officials being pictured leaving his Manchester residence in the early hours of Monday morning.

They were still furious with the North London club when Arteta sat alongside Guardiola on the club’s bench for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie at Oxford.

City grew increasingly exasperated by the lack of communication from their Premier League rivals, with one source labelling the situation as “shambolic”.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 20: (2ndL) Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta with (L) Head of Football Relations Raul Sanllehi, (2ndR) Technical Director Edu and (R) Technical Director Vinai Venkatesham at London Colney on December 20, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

A city source added: “It’s surprising to hear that plans are being made by Arsenal to unveil our coach as their Head Coach on Friday on the basis that no contact has been made by the Club to discuss this matter.”

Formal contact would then be established between the two sides, with Arteta saying his goodbyes to City staff on Thursday.

Pep Guardiola would then reveal early on Friday afternoon that the deal taking Arteta to Arsenal was “almost there”, with the Gunners making an official announcement shortly after.

But the Premier League champions were left unhappy at not being given warning of the announcement, with some City bosses first hearing about Arteta’s switch when they saw it on TV.

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"In terms of the pictures, we didn't think it was such a great deal," Sanllehi said.

"We have been publicly explaining openly we are in a process of looking for a head coach, and we have been seeing many and in the houses of many. It just happened this time there was a picture for whatever reason.

"I do not know if it was a neighbour or someone following - I do not know and I do not care.

"In terms of Man City and given the tight relationship between Mikel and Pep, we have been very careful, extremely transparent and very respectful.”

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Asked if there were any regrets, Sanllehi said: "No, I do not like to look to the past.

"I like to look to the future, and at that time, we made a decision with the information we had. It is not time to regret. We made a decision conscious of what we wanted at that time.

"We are now conscious and convinced of what we are doing now."