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Guardiola admits Man City are ‘open’ to Arteta exit amid Arsenal links

Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City are ‘open’ to the potential departure of Mikel Arteta with the assistant coach having been linked with the vacant managerial position at Arsenal.

The Spaniard has been strongly linked with a return to the Emirates with Arsenal seeking a long-term replacement for the sacked Unai Emery.

The 37-year-old previously spent five seasons at the Emirates as a player, eventually being named as club captain, before announcing his retirement and beginning his coaching career under the guidance of Guardiola at Man City.

In three seasons at the Etihad, Arteta has been a key part of the coaching staff that has won back-to-back league titles as well as English football’s first-ever domestic treble, and Arsenal are now believed to be considering taking a chance on their former midfielder to lead the club forward.

Arteta’s current employers ran out 3-0 winners at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, and speaking afterwards, City boss Pep Guardiola reiterated Arteta’s importance to his plans at the Premier League champions, though admitted he was ‘open’ to his compatriot’s departure should he decide to seek his first role in senior management.

“[He has] a lot [of influence],” Guardiola told Sky Sports.

“He is part of the huge success we had. An important part. What will happen will happen. I think he is part of our staff so what is going to happen I don’t know.

“At the end, it’s personal, if he wants a job we are open to talk. I don’t want to make him uncomfortable.”

Subsequent developments since Sunday’s Premier League outing have spotted members of Arsenal’s senior management leaving Arteta’s Manchester home in the early hours of Monday morning.

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