Former Man City assistant manager Mikel Arteta has been appointed as the new manager of Arsenal.
The news was finally confirmed on Friday afternoon after weeks of speculation and the Spaniard has signed a three-and-a-half year deal as he replaces Unai Emery.
However, City aren't happy with the conduct of Arsenal throughout the process and weren't pre-warned about the announcement, instead finding out on television following Pep Guardiola's pre-Leicester press conference.
“This is a huge honour. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to be competing for the top trophies in the game and that’s been made very clear to me in my discussions with Stan and Josh Kroenke, and the senior people from the club,” Arteta told Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero and John Stones have returned to training and are in contention for Saturday.
Stay tuned for the latest City news throughout the day.
Guardiola wishes Arteta luck at Arsenal
“Mikel has been an excellent coach for Manchester City. He has shown impressive dedication, hard work and knowledge of football during his time here and has been a real contributor to the Club’s achievements over the past years. We all wish him well in his new role; I am sure he is ready for it,” Guardiola told City.
How Man City found out about Arsenal's Mikel Arteta appointment
Manchester City were left with a familiar feeling after Arsenal announced the appointment of Mikel Arteta without telling them.
The club have been fuming with Arsenal’s conduct during their pursuit of the Blues assistant coach. After no words were exchanged between the bosses when the teams met at the Emirates on Sunday evening, Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham and contract negotiator Huss Fahmy were pictured leaving Arteta’s house in the early hours of Monday morning.
City’s annoyance then intensified on Wednesday after reports emerged that Arsenal were planning to announce the appointment of Arteta. A club source said at the time: “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.”
Read on here.
Mikel Arteta on becoming new Arsenal manager
Man City assistant manager Mikel Arteta has been appointed as the new Arsenal manager. He said:
“This is a huge honour. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to be competing for the top trophies in the game and that’s been made very clear to me in my discussions with Stan and Josh Kroenke, and the senior people from the club,” he told Arsenal.
“We all know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that but I am confident we’ll do it. I’m realistic enough to know it won’t happen overnight but the current squad has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of young players coming through from the academy.”
That's all from Guardiola
That’s all from Guardiola today, scroll down to read every word of his press conference.
Focus on managers
More intense than before?
Before it always happened around the world but not this country. The clubs and the owners pay a lot of revenue. People are more impatient and they want results quick. It is what it is, it’s life.
It’s normal. A consequence, before just one camera was easier but it’s different and it’s changed a lot.
They sold Maguire, the other teams is the same, a lot of quality in the middle, counter attacks, control all depratments of the team. Last season I had the feeling they’d fight for the top four and it’s happened, they’re a fantastic team.”
More on Arteta
How big a loss is Arteta and what sort of impact do you expect him to have?
He decided to move there. You cannot stop it, follow your dreams and Arsenal was a big part of his career. We wish him all the best I’m pretty sure he will do a great job.
On the league table
How do you motivate your side?
A lot of games to play. The distance we have now the teams in front or behind can change in a few weeks and especially in this period. We have to do what we have to do.
More on Arteta
Mikel gone how will you fill his position?
We will stay with the same people here. Now we don’t add we can go with the people we have here.
More from Guardiola
Want it resolved quickly?
It’s almost done. Yesterday not in training today not in training. He’s moving to Arsenal. I don’t know the details of the contract.
Stones, Aguero and Silva update
Aguero and Stones had training session. Silva no and they made two training sessions with the team.
Guardiola has arrived
Arteta, what’s your understanding?
He’s in London and is close to agreeing deal with Arsenal.
Talking points ahead of the press conference
Challenge from Leicester
Pep Guardiola press conference coming up
We’re at the CFA where Guardiola will be addressing the media from 1.30pm.
Arteta Arsenal move gives Man City an unexpected opportunity
Manchester City did not want to lose Mikel Arteta .
Since arriving as a rookie coach in 2016, he quickly marked himself out as an important member of the backroom staff and had club bosses and Pep Guardiola allies earmarking him as a potential successor at the Etihad.
City certainly did not want to lose Arteta in the middle of this season.
There have already been too many distractions for the Premier League champions this season, from the ongoing investigations into the club dragging on to fixtures fury to the storm around Bernardo Silva’s ill-judged tweet to Benjamin Mendy . With the players not consistent enough in the league to be challenging for the title, the last thing they need is the departure of a coach that has helped so many of them to improve.
Full story here.
Solskjaer on Arteta
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Mikel Arteta to succeed at Arsenal for the same reason Pep Guardiola thrived at Barcelona.
The Manchester City manager was a relative rookie when he took over from Frank Rijkaard at the La Liga giants in 2008, having only had one season of coaching with Barcelona B. However, he won an incredible 14 trophies in four years in charge there to create a legacy at the club whose academy he came through.
Solskjaer was turned to by United a year ago, initially on a temporary basis, as the club sought a new direction following the high-profile sacking of Jose Mourinho. The former United player instantly galvanised the squad to such an extent that he was given a three-year contract in March 2019.
Arsenal hope Mikel Arteta can return to the Emirates and make their club recognisable again. Freddie Ljungberg has been unable to stop their listless slide this season since stepping in for Unai Emery and a feeble performance in the 3-0 defeat to City last weekend accelerated the club’s pursuit of Arteta.
Rodgers the next Guardiola?
Sky Sports’ Charlie Nicholas believes Leicester boss Rodgers could succeed Guardiola at City.
The Spaniard has another couple of years left on his current deal and the suggestion was Arteta would be his natural succession. But with the City assistant coach on his way to Arsenal the future looks a little less clear.
Could this pave way for Rodgers to come in?
Nicholas thinks so:
“This is the really interesting game for Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester.
“They have the capability of going there and winning while playing an attractive match at the same time.
“Everyone is saying Mikel Arteta will be going, and then Pep Guardiola could leave in the not too distant future, but who would be in line for the Manchester City job?
“Rodgers could be in that pipeline because of the way Man City play.”
Manchester United vs Man City Carabao Cup semi-final dates confirmed
Manchester United will host the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi final vs Manchester City, with the second leg to take place at the Etihad in January.
United and City were drawn together after seeing off lower league opposition in Colchester and Oxford respectively on Wednesday. Aston Villa and Leicester will compete in the other semi-final.
When the two sides met earlier in December in the Premier League, it was United who secured the bragging rights with a 2-1 victory at the Etihad.
But City will get the chance to exact revenge sooner than they hoped after the Carabao Cup semi-final draw, and they get the supposed advantage of playing the second leg at home.
Get the full details here.
How Man City boss Pep Guardiola might replace Mikel Arteta
When Domenec Torrent struck out on his own to become New York City manager in 2018, it was regarded as a serious blow to Pep Guardiola.
The older man had been a crutch, a wise word in the ear, a naysayer and a tactical innovator for the brilliant Catalan ever since Guardiola set out on his coaching career path with Barcelona B.
Many wondered if Guardiola, and Manchester City, would lose something vital when he finally decided that he wanted to go from number two to main man.
Now Guardiola faces the same dilemma, as Mikel Arteta ties up a deal which will take him to the Arsenal hot-seat.
So how will Guardiola cope with this blow, falling in the most hectic part of a tricky season, when the manager had hoped that Arteta would stay until next summer, at least?
Read the full story here.
Joao Cancelo 'open to leaving Man City' in January and more transfer rumours
Bayern Munich and Valencia reportedly want to sign Joao Cancelo in January, just five months after the defender joined Manchester City.
Cancelo, 25, scored his first City goal against Oxford this week in the Carabao Cup, and has made 15 appearances since joining from Juventus in August. He has had to compete with Kyle Walker at right back as the pair battle to be first choice under Pep Guardiola.
But despite the defender showing signs of improvement as he adapts to his new surroundings, reports in Spain have now emerged claiming Valencia are exploring the possibility of loaning Cancelo in January.
Mundo Deportivo (via Calciomercato) say the defender is a target for the Champions League last-16 side, with his agent Jorge Mendes said to be in discussions with Valencia owner Peter Lim.
The outlet add a deal would be ‘difficult’, but that Cancelo is open to a move.
Read the full story here.
Welcome to today’s live blog!