Arsenal are set to make Pep Guardiola’s No.2, Mikel Arteta, the great Arsene Wenger’s successor.
That’s according to reports in the UK media, with more experienced coaches being passed up or overlooked by the Gunners hierarchy.
With the likes of former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique coming at a high cost, Max Allegri keen to stay at Juventus and the free Carlo Ancelotti not being contacted, it seems Arsenal are looking for a younger coach - a poor man’s Pep.
Arteta and fellow former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira - the fans’ favourite - both fit the bill.
But Arteta tops the bosses’ wishlist.
During his five years at the Emirates, the Spanish midfielder was nicknamed “coach”.
And the bynaam wasn’t exactly a compliment for Arteta, who is said to have been very focal when it came to game plans and teammates’ performances.
You could say he was kind of bossy.
But that is exactly what Arsenal want.
And after two years working under Pep at City and a Premier League title under his belt, the Gunners are ready to take a gamble on the 36-year-old.How a manager so young might handle a squad of players is obviously a big question.
Arteta, though, was teammate to some of them and that could bring its own dynamic, especially with someone who has not gained so much experience yet.
City boss Pep has already confirmed he will not stand in Arteta’s way if he wants to leave the champions’ backroom.
Reports on Tuesday claimed the former Barcelona graduate is already looking for his own bootroom with a number of Wenger’s lieutenants set to follow the Frenchman out.
First-team coaches Boro Primorac and Neil Banfield and goalkeeping coach Gerry Peyton are all expected to leave, while Wenger’s right-hand man Steve Bould will reportedly make his decision to stay or go once a new boss is named.