Despite saying they knew nothing about it, Manchester City did indeed know about Arsenal’s interest in Mikel Arteta and they DID have talks.

OXFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Mikel Arteta, Assistant Manager of Manchester City looks on as Manager of Manchester City, Josep Guardiola reacts during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Oxford United and Manchester City at Kassam Stadium on December 18, 2019 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
OXFORD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 18: Mikel Arteta, Assistant Manager of Manchester City looks on as Manager of Manchester City, Josep Guardiola reacts during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Oxford United and Manchester City at Kassam Stadium on December 18, 2019 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Of course they did.

Pep Guardiola has talked about Arteta leaving, he even confirmed Arteta was in talks with Arsenal. How could City, as they professed, seriously claim Arsenal had not been in touch?

As I wrote on Thursday, the whole thing smelt like City trying to make it look like they weren’t just stepping out of Arteta’s way to let him join Arsenal.

Daily Mail 20 December 2019
Daily Mail 20 December 2019

That’s basically what they are doing, to the surprise of many given we are in the middle of the season and they are 14 points behind Liverpool. Perhaps they know that jig is already up and are thinking ahead to next season, who knows.

According to the report in the Daily Mail’s Friday edition, “Arsenal did in fact hold talks with City regarding their intention to discuss the vacant manager’s role with Arteta. The former Arsenal midfielder is known to have kept manager Guardiola abreast of developments, while Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi has known City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain for two decades. Assertions that Arsenal were not in contact with City have confused Gunners officials.”

Daily Mail 20 December 2019
Daily Mail 20 December 2019

Arsenal are expected to unveil Arteta as their new head coach at a re-arranged press conference at some point on Friday.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.