Pep Guardiola has backed Mikel Arteta to become a manager “sooner or later” although for he’s hoping he can retain his assistant at Manchester City for a while longer.
The Spaniard is the bookies favourite for the Arsenal head coach position with Unai Emery teetering on the edge of the sack after presiding over the club’s worst start since 1982/83.
Arteta, who spent five seasons as a player at the Emirates before retiring in 2016, was nearly given the responsibility two years ago in the aftermath of Arsene Wenger’s departure.
Asked about the prospect of his assistant returning to London, Guardiola had nothing but warm words for Arteta.
“Unai Emery is the manager of Arsenal,” he told Sky Sports after his side’s 2-1 win over Chelsea.
“[But] of course [Arteta] will be a manager sooner or later. We are going to finish the season but in the future I don’t know what is going to happen.
“I would like him to stay with us. Manchester City has a person of incredible value to work here in the future. But professional desires are professional desires. Everyone is more than satisfied to have him here.
He added: “He was an incredible player. The holding midfielder has a vision of what happens on the pitch. When you are a striker you think of the goals and ‘keepers to save it.
“But I think that the holding midfielder is an incredible lesson during your period as a football player. You don’t need to go to school.
“More than that he is an incredible human being and works a lot. I said after a few months together he would be a manager. He is already a manager – he behaves like a manager.”