Guardiola laughing as most important Arsenal man incredibly tipped to join Man City

Man City manager Pep Guardiola

Manchester City have been tipped to solve a looming problem by snatching an Arsenal man they simply must not lose under any circumstance.

From an on-field perspective there remains very little that needs fixing or tweaking at Man City. Pep Guardiola’s side won the treble two seasons ago and followed that up by lifting their fourth Premier League title in a row last term.

Ageing stars such as Aymeric Laporte, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez have been replaced by younger and hungrier stars, with the likes of Josko Gvardiol, Matheus Nunes and Jeremy Doku refreshing the ranks.

However, there is an elephant in the room at the Etihad stadium and that relates to their manager’s contract status.

Guardiola’s existing deal with Man City has just one more season left to run. The Spaniard – widely regarded as one of the greatest managers in football history – has continually talked up an exit.

“Last year, after Istanbul (Champions League final), I said ‘it’s over, there’s nothing left’,” Guardiola said last month.

“But I have a contract and I start to think ‘no-one has done four [Premier League titles] in a row, why don’t we try?’. And now I feel it’s done, so what next?

“Now I don’t know what exactly the motivation is because it’s difficult to find it when everything is done.”

Guardiola subsequently poured more fuel on the fire when speaking to reporters after City’s latest Premier League triumph.

“The reality is I am closer to leaving than staying [after next season],” admitted the City boss.

Mikel Arteta backed to replace Pep Guardiola

If Guardiola does decide to walk away in 2025, he’ll bring his trophy-laden stint at the Etihad to a close at the nine-year mark. That is the same length of time his great rival Jurgen Klopp lasted at Liverpool before choosing to take a break from the game.

However, Guardiola’s primary rival over the past two seasons has been Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta who has worked wonders at the Emirates.

In conjunction with Edu, Arteta has bought exceptionally well in the market. His tactics have simultaneously made Arsenal rock solid at the back and lethal up front, while the club’s impressive mentality shift is down to the Spaniard too.

But according to former England international, Danny Mills, Arteta is the perfect candidate to replace Guardiola at Man City in 2025.

As cited by Goal, Mills believes Arteta’s past connection with Man City and Guardiola – having previously served as his No 2 – will make him the favoured candidate of Man City’s decision-makers.

Arteta can extend Man City dominance – Danny Mills

“Mikel Arteta is the best man to replace Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, without a shadow of a doubt,” declared Mills.

“He’s worked with Pep, he knows the way City play and he can come in with the same level of intensity as him.

“I think it will be a concern. It’s like trying to replace Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson.

“The hierarchy at City have to be looking for a successor now and I’m sure they are. There are lots of coaches winning in the City Group for instance.

“It’s a concern for City but when you look at what they’ve done in the past, the senior figures they’ve brought in to manage the academy and recruitment, you have to put faith in them and hope that there is a good succession plan.”

It’s unquestionable Guardiola’s potential exit in 2025 would enhance Arsenal’s chances of becoming the new dominant force in English football.

However, seeing Arteta return to Man City to take Pep’s place would stop that power shift dead in its tracks.

READ MORE: The 10 biggest spending football managers since Pep Guardiola joined Man City in 2016

Latest on Arteta contract extension with Arsenal

Arteta’s current contract with the Gunners is due to expire at the same time as Guardiola’s does at Man City – June 2025.

When speaking on Arteta’s future back in May, trusted reporter David Ornstein suggested the likeliest outcome is Arteta extends his stay in north London.

“I see a manager who appears to want to continue in this project,” Ornstein told The Athletic. “And a club who definitely do not want to lose him.

“My assumption is that they just need to sit down, have a conversation, get the numbers right, the vision, the project, and everything. Be on the same page.

“Then I’ve got nothing to suggest that they won’t continue [together].

“There’s definitely going to be interest in Mikel Arteta from elsewhere, now and in the future. We’ve already seen links to Barcelona and others.

“[But] this appears to be a very happy marriage, and no evidence to suggest it will not continue, although we don’t have any updates on talks just yet.”

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