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Arsene Wenger has admitted that Mikel Arteta could make a summer switch to Manchester City, with the Spaniard potentially joining Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The 34-year-old has been offered a place at Guardiola’s side, with his time as a player coming to an end. His age has really caught up with him over the last season or two, and his legs are totally gone at this point. He’s a liability in midfield, but still has plenty to offer as a mentor.
Wenger admitted that Arteta was out of contract this summer, although believes the former Everton star could continue as a player if he wanted to.
“It’s possible. It’s true that he is out of contract here,” Wenger said.
“His contract finishes here. It’s a good opportunity for me to thank him for his contribution not only as a player but as a leader.
“I heard about that possibility [of going to Man City] but he is able to inform you much better than I.
“He is free to decide to do what he wants, he will certainly need some time to reflect on whether he continues to play.
“I still think he can play, in the last months he has come back to a very good physical level and he is in a position today where he can continue to play and he would be a very good player.”
While Arteta no longer has a place in the squad, it would still be a shame to see him go. As stated he clearly still has plenty to offer, and if Guardiola wants him at City then why would Wenger not want him as a coach at Arsenal.
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Wenger doesn’t seem to agree though, and suggested that while he would love Arteta to remain at the club, there wasn’t a role available for him.
“You want your former players to be at the club but you also need the positions to fill. You cannot create artificial positions at the club,” he continued.
This certainly sounds like he’d be willing to let Arteta leave, so unfortunately it seems like we’ll be saying goodbye to him at the end of the campaign.