Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants Mikel Arteta to remain a member of his backroom staff amid reports the former Arsenal midfielder could succeed Arsene Wenger at the Gunners.
Arteta has been mentioned as one of the main contenders to take over from Wenger when the veteran French manager leaves London club Arsenal at the end of the season.
Arteta, 36, has been one Guardiola’s assistants at the Etihad Stadium since July 2016.
Guardiola was keen to talk up former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, currently on a break from football, for the impending vacancy at the Gunners but wanted Arteta to stay at City.
“Luis is an excellent and amazing manager,” Guardiola, himself a former Barcelona player and manager, told a news conference on Friday.
“He can go wherever he wants. Of course Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Guardiola, whose City side have already secured the Premier League title, added: “My opinion about Mikel is overwhelming. One of the reasons for our success this season is because Mikel is here.
“We are so comfortable, not just me, working with him.
“I know there a lot of names of the next manager after Wenger but the same with Luis Enrique, I don’t know the plan for Arsenal. Of course, Luis Enrique I know well.”
– ‘Records not forever’ –
Meanwhile, Guardiola has also told winger Leroy Sane to use Ryan Giggs as his role model on the pitch.
Germany international Sane was named the Professional Footballers’ Association young player of the year on Sunday after a superb season which helped propel City to the title.
Giggs, a brilliant winger, enjoyed a stellar career at City’s local rivals Manchester United, where he became the most-decorated player in the Old Trafford club’s history.
Guardiola added: “Ryan is a legend in world football, not just in Man United, England, Wales. Leroy has a good target to try to emulate Ryan Giggs.
“The most important thing for Leroy is consistency during the games, one guy or two guys can play good for a short period, but he’s been good during a long period, excellent.
“His consistency was the most valuable thing. His quality speaks for itself.
“With Leroy you have a feeling, the most exciting part – as a manager — he has a gap, he has space to be a better player.”
City travel to West Ham United on Sunday still eyeing a number of Premier League season records including most points, goals scored and the winning margin between themselves and second place.
Guardiola believes aiming for such targets will help motivate his players in their remaining four games, even though the title is already won.
“I said before, records will be broken. Sooner or later they will be broken. It always happens,” Guardiola said.
“The records are not forever. If you have 95, 96 or 97 points one team will come in the future and break it.”
The Catalan boss added: “It may help us keep focus in what we have to do against West Ham, Huddersfield and Brighton.
“They are fighting relegation. We have to do what we have to do.
“To play football without nothing with no intention, sometimes you play lazy and without what you need. That’s maybe why going for records can help.”