Arsenal are set to hold talks with Mikel Arteta today (Thursday) about the possibility of the former captain taking over the vacant manager role at the club, according to Sky Sports.
Arteta, currently an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, has been mentioned in the past few days as the leading candidate to succeed Arsene Wenger as the likes of Luis Enrique, Massimiliano Allegri, Juilan Nagelsmann, Željko Buvač and Patrick Vieira fell out of the picture one by one.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat are expected to represent the club at the meeting.
Should Arteta be appointed for the job, he will be handed a transfer kitty of no more than £50million as Gazidis wants to implement a new managerial structure at the club and wants the new manager to comply with it.
The idea of Luis Enrique was apparently binned first due to huge wage demands by the former Barcelona player and coach. Enrique won the Champions League with the Catalans in 2015, two La Liga titles and three Copa Del Rey trophies, but he has been out of work since leaving the club at the end of 2016/17 season.
Julian Nagelsmann decided to stay in Germany with his current club TSG Hoffenheim who have recently dismissed the possibility of parting ways with their head coach. Yet to turn 31, Nagelsmann would have probably represented a risky appointment had it happened, but the same, to an extent, could be said of Arteta.
The Gunners interest in Jürgen Klopp’s assistant Željko Buvač had been confirmed as genuine by Sky Sports, but it has apparently been dropped somewhere along the line. Patrick Vieira has been contacted by the club but the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship winner believes the contact was a mere gesture and is reportedly disappointed but such an approach.
Brendan Rodgers and Rafa Benitez have also been mentioned by some media outlets, but several more reliable ones have reported that the two former Liverpool managers were never even considered.
Should the talks with Arteta end on a positive note and a deal agreed, the Spaniard would be granted permission to bring in his own members of staff. The club wish to wrap everything up before the World Cup begins next month, and we should therefore expect further developments soon.