David Ornstein confirms that Arsenal and Mikel Arteta held talks over the Spaniard becoming the new Arsenal manager but the club have not yet spoken to Manchester City.
It was hard for Arsenal to deny that they were trying to convince Mikel Arteta they were wrong last summer when they snubbed him for Unai Emery, especially when they were spotted leaving his house in the early hours of the morning.
All that was needed was David Ornstein to come along with his update and now we have it.
Writing for The Athletic, he says, “An initial discussion took place last week between Arteta and Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi and that was followed up on Sunday night when the 37-year-old spent time with the London club’s managing director Vinai Venkatesham and director of football operations Huss Fahmy.”
Sanllehi held the first meeting before reportedly leaving it to Venkatesham and Fahmy to sort out the financials. While we don’t yet know what sort of salary Arteta might be asking for, we do have some idea of what else he will want from the club.
Arteta was then expected to meet with Josh Kroenke on Monday for a ‘golden handshake’ to complete the deal although Ornstein says this has not yet happened.
City, for their part, claim Arsenal have not yet spoken to them about signing their assistant manager which is not the way we are used to Arsenal doing things. Despite being at the Emirates on Sunday for the match against Arsenal, nobody spoke to any of the City directors about the possibility of hiring Arteta which is poor form if true. It was Arteta himself who informed City of the talks.
Ornstein also claims that Arsenal want to bring back more former players to work in-and-around the club to ‘regain an identity on and off the pitch that many think has been lost.’
When Mikel Arteta was close to landing the job last summer, it was reported he wanted to bring Santi Cazorla back to work alongside him and the diminutive playmaker recently said he would ‘love’ to return to the club once he stops playing.
Finally, at the end of his piece Ornstein mentions that Arsenal also met with Patrick Vieira recently, while Mauricio Pochettino was another option considered but that was never going to happen.
As it stands, it looks like a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ Arteta will be announced as the new Arsenal head coach. He could even be in place for Arsenal’s next game against Everton on Saturday.
That would mean his final game for City was against his old club, Arsenal, while his first game for Arsenal would be against his former club, Everton.
We look at why Mikel Arteta would be an exciting appointment for Arsenal here.