Premier League • England

Arteta plans revealed as Arsenal seek to ward off Man City attention over critical issue

Reports claim Arsenal are set to offer manager Mikel Arteta a new contract before the end of the season after being impressed with his work this term.

The 39-year-old has been in charge at the Emirates for two years after replacing Unai Emery in December 2019. It has not all been plain sailing for the Spaniard, although he did guide his men to FA Cup glory at the end of 2019-2020. The Gunners then beat Liverpool on penalties to lift the 2020 Community Shield.

That gave Arteta and his squad a boost ahead of the new campaign. However, they only managed an eighth-place Premier League finish and the jury remained out on his ability as a manager.

The knives were also out early this season after the north Londoners lost their first three league games. But they have turned things around and now sit sixth in the table, with 35 points from 20 games played.

A top-four finish is certainly their aim, with Tottenham just one point and one place better off. West Ham currently occupy the fourth Champions League berth, with 37 points, while Manchester Unietd are seventh – also on 35.

Therefore it appears to be a four-horse race for the one remaining place in the top four. Arteta seemed more likely to be sacked than be challenging at the business end of the table earlier in 2021-2022.

And the club’s hierarchy have certainly taken note and want to tie him down for a lengthy period. The former Arsenal midfielder is under contract until the summer of 2023.

Reports suggest Manchester City are eyeing him to replace Pep Guardiola when his compatriot finally leaves City. And, with that in mind, he will be offered fresh terms in the next few months, according to the Daily Mail.

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Youngsters flourishing under Arteta

Arteta cut his coaching teeth at the Etihad Stadium. He worked as an assistant to Guardiola at City from July 2016 until he took the Gunners post.

The former Everton midfielder has made some impressive signings during his tenure. The likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard have been recruited.

And he has allowed young stars such as Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli to develop on the big stage. There is still some way to go before Arsenal are title contenders.

But they are trending in the right direction and the report adds Arteta will be offered a two-year extension to continue his work. The pull to Manchester will be strong as he knows the champions well.

And that is cited as the reason why his currently employers want to nail down their man as soon as possible.

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