Arteta to travel with Man City for cup tie despite Arsenal talks
Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta will travel with the squad for the League Cup quarter-final with Oxford despite holding talks over the vacant manager’s role at Arsenal, Pep Guardiola confirmed on Tuesday.
The City boss revealed in his pre-match press conference that Arteta had taken part in a training session with the cup holders and was due to head to Oxford on Wednesday.
“We were so smart to pick him up and now the other clubs want him,” Guardiola said. “I’ve said many times, he’s an incredible person, a good manager, work ethic. That is why he is with us.
“He’s talking with Arsenal so I don’t know what is going to happen.”
Arsenal’s pursuit of their former captain became public when Gunners chief executive Vinai Venkatesham was pictured leaving the Spaniard’s home in the early hours of Monday.
Guardiola said Arteta had told him about the meeting, and that he would not be trying to influence the 37-year-old’s decision.”He knows exactly what we want but at the end it’s his decision. It’s personal.”
“The organisation of the club is always live, it doesn’t always stay the same, what works today might not work tomorrow,” he added. “The people today maybe won’t be here tomorrow.”
Arteta played more than 100 times for Arsenal, his final club before retiring, and joined City’s coaching staff in 2016.
Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to City increased the need for the Gunners to end the uncertainty over the manager’s position, leaving the club as close to the relegation zone in 10th spot as they are to the top four.
Guardiola was speaking on Tuesday for the first time since City were drawn against 13-times winners Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.
“It’s an incredible test for us,” said the Catalan, who won the trophy twice while manager of Barcelona. “The draw was the draw — the king of this competition.”
“If you want to go through you have to play these teams sooner or later. You can do it now or in the quarters or semis or finals. In this competition there are teams of quality — English teams, Spanish teams, even German teams.”
Guardiola is also excited about facing Real manager Zinedine Zidane.
“I dreamed about playing with him,” he said. “When I left Barcelona I wanted to play with him at Juventus but it did not happen.
“I don’t speak much with him, maybe three or four times. But my first impression is of an incredible person. I admire him. It will be a real pleasure to see him.”
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