Pep Guardiola says Manchester City have not received any approach from Arsenal to speak to Mikel Arteta, which could suggest the former club captain is not one of the front-runners for the vacant position.
The Spaniard came very close to succeeding Arsene Wenger 18 months ago and is presumed to be on a shortlist again now that Unai Emery has been sacked. Everton, another of Arteta’s former clubs, are also said to be sniffing around.
He denied any approaches had been made, confirmed he’d not spoken with Arteta about his future and went on to say that he wants his assistant to stay at the Etihad.
“I’m not a guy that puts a gun to the heads of my staff or players and says what they have to do,” said Guardiola.
“We’re human beings and everyone has dreams and desires. Hopefully, he can stay this season and the next one – as long as possible in this club.
“That would be my dream, but Mikel has his own life and I will never say what he has to do.
“I arrived here and we were in touch about working together and the time we’ve spent together has been magnificent.
“I tried to help him and he’s helped me a lot. He knows what I want and what the club wants.
“Hopefully he will stay but, at the end of the season, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Arsenal is in search of a new manager after firing Unai Emery and replacing him with his assistant who is yet to win a match in his first two games as the interim boss.