Mikel Arteta is reportedly in ‘pole position’ to become Arsenal’s next permanent manager.
The club’s former captain is amongst a host of candidates being considered as Unai Emery’s successor at the Emirates, the Spaniard having been dismissed from his position last month following a disappointing start to the season.
Several of the club’s hierarchy including Head of Football Raul Sanllehi and technical director Edu are currently working through a shortlist of potential permanent managers, which according to The Athletic is now being headed by Arteta.
The Spaniard is currently working as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and has become a fundamental part of his compatriot’s coaching staff, forming part of a team that has delivered back-to-back league titles and English football’s first ever domestic treble.
Arteta harbours ambitions of becoming a manager in his own right and his credentials have been praised by Guardiola, with former club Arsenal believing the 37-year-old possesses the qualities they are seeking to lead the club forward.
According to the report, the North London club are keen to appoint a coach familiar with the demands of the Premier League, whilst a good standard of English is also desired to communicate well with the squad, staff and media, something that former boss Emery was criticised for.
Arteta’s understanding of the club, having spent at the Emirates for five seasons as a player, is also believed to be favourable and the Arsenal hierarchy are confident he has developed the necessary coaching skills during three seasons working at the Etihad.
Arsenal are believed to want a swift appointment, though not at the expense of the best solution, and are confident in interim manager Freddie Ljungberg’s capabilities until a suitable permanent replacement is appointed.