Cape Town - Arsenal are closing on the appointment of Mikel Arteta as
their new head coach, with negotiations close to being concluded with
Negotiations remain ongoing between the two Premier League
clubs, with a compensation package for the City assistant coach yet to be
The Gunners had fuelled speculation of an imminent
announcement of Unai Emery's permanent successor by postponing Thursday
afternoon's scheduled press conference.
Spaniard Arteta, who played for the Gunners from 2011 to
2016, reportedly said his farewells to the staff at City on Thursday morning.
The 37-year-old, who made 110 top-flight appearances for
Arsenal before retiring in 2016, is poised to take up his first managerial role
after three years as Pep Guardiola's assistant.
Freddie Ljungberg has been in temporary charge of the
Gunners since Spaniard Emery was sacked on November 29.
The Swede, who on Thursday afternoon had been expected to
face the media at the club's training ground ahead of Saturday's game at
Everton, has overseen just one victory in his five-match tenure.
Arsenal are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and
the same number clear of the relegation zone following Sunday's 3-0 home defeat
to Arteta's current club.
That result led to the Gunners' hierarchy stepping up their
plans to recruit Emery's long-term replacement, with managing director Vinai
Venkatesham pictured outside Arteta's house in the early hours of Monday
It is understood City are unhappy that Arsenal did not ask
for permission to speak to Guardiola's assistant and are especially annoyed
because no approach was made when club officials met for last weekend's fixture
at the Emirates Stadium.
City, however, do not have an issue with Arteta and will
allow him to decide his own future.
Arteta was in City's dugout alongside Guardiola on Wednesday
night as the Premier League champions won 3-1 at League One Oxford to reach the
Carabao Cup semi-finals.
- TeamTalk Media