Manchester City are adamant that they have NOT agreed a deal for Mikel Arteta despite reports that his move to Arsenal is done and dusted.
The Gunners are expecting to announce Pep Guardiola ’s assistant as their new manager within the next 48 hours – there were claims on Wednesday evening that agreement had been reached with both the man and the Blues.
But Arteta was on the team bus which arrived at Oxford for tonight’s League Cup quarter-final.
City sources insist that there has STILL been no contact from Arsenal, increasing the fury which they felt when news broke of a meeting between Arteta and two Arsenal club executives at his Manchester home in the early hours of Monday morning.
That angered City, as they had been socialising with Arsenal executives just hours earlier in the directors’ lounge at the Emirates and there was no hint that they would make a play for him.
Just a few hours later Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham and the club’s contract negotiator Huss Fahmy were pictured leaving Arteta’s home in Manchester.
The brought an angry reaction from City, who feel that Arsenal have belied their classy reputation by making an underhand approach.
They made it plain on Monday that they would not be accommodating in the deal, although they exempt Arteta from criticism and say he will leave with the club’s blessing when he does go.
City will ask for the full seven-figure compensation amount, but say that there has been no discussion on that – in fact no discussion at all, with Arsenal yet to pick up the phone.