Former Arsenal and Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta has agreed to join Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Man City, according to a report.
The 34-year-old was linked with a move to join The Etihad coaching team in February and the Daily Mirror claims his appointment will be confirmed “imminently”.
Arteta made just nine sub appearances in the Premier League last season and played only 11 times in the 2014/15 season having featured as a first choice in the previous three years. The former Rangers and Real Soceidad midfielder decided to hang his boots up at the end of the season after a season plagued by ankle and calf injuries.
Arteta was a second-half sub in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa on the final day of the season and he burst into tears at the final whistle.
“It was unbelievable because the last few months have been really difficult and I have been through a difficult position as well with my role in the team,” the Spaniard said.
“To have the opportunity to say goodbye and 99 per cent to say goodbye to the sport that I love is very hard, but my taste of it can’t get better than today.
“A big thank you to everybody.”
Arteta, who joined Arsenal following a successful spell with Everton, won two FA Cups and two Community Shields with Arsene Wenger’s side and insists he knew it was time to call time on his playing days with the Gunners.
“It is very hard to stop but I wanted to leave it… I wanted to decide and I thought for the last few months I wasn’t good enough to represent this club on the pitch,” he said.
“You have to accept it. It’s been a long time to be playing football and I didn’t want to cheat them or anyone. It is time.”
San Sebastian-born Arteta is a close friend of Guardiola and his fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura and only last month Arsene Wenger hinted that Arteta, who is believed to have turned down similar positions at Arsenal and Tottenham, could be heading for City.
“It is true that he is out of contract here and his contract finishes,” said Wenger in May. “It is a good opportunity for me to thank him for his contribution, not only as a player but also as a leader. I heard about that (City) possibility.”