Pep Guardiola sends message to Mikel Arteta over Arsenal job

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Mikel Arteta must decide whether he believes he is ready to step into management.

The Spaniard has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal following the sacking of Unai Emery in November.

Arteta was a candidate to replace Arsene Wenger in 2018 but Arsenal eventually opted for the experience of Emery. Nevertheless, Arteta has retained support from those on the club’s board and he’s believed to be a frontrunner to take over from Freddie Ljungberg.

Guardiola appointed Arteta as his assistant in 2016 and the club allowed him to speak to Arsenal 18 months ago, while there was interest from Everton and Newcastle in the last year.

And the City boss says it is entirely up to Arteta whether he feels that now is the right time for him to leave the Etihad.

‘You can be a 45-year-old and believe you’re not ready [to become a manager] and 35 and believe you’re ready. Only he knows,’ said Guardiola.

‘I’ve spoken about the situation a few weeks ago, there’s no more to add. I said two weeks ago, he’s got two weeks more experience, so he’s ready.’

On Arsenal interim boss Ljungberg he added: ‘The club decided on a person who had a long time at the club many years ago.

‘He knows the feelings, the fans, the way they like to play, he made a good result the last weekend so we’ll see.’

City take on Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday and it could be the perfect opportunity for the Gunners to discuss a deal for Arteta.

The champions could be without David Silva for the trip to north London, while John Stones and Sergio Aguero have both been ruled out.

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