Pep Guardiola says he will not stand in Mikel Arteta’s way if his assistant wants to take over as manager of Arsenal or Everton – while providing some positive fitness updates ahead of the Manchester derby.
Guardiola’s assistant Arteta has been linked with the managerial vacancies at Arsenal and Everton.
Guardiola said the club have not received any approaches for Arteta but the City boss believes his colleague is ready to make the step up.
Asked if he could one day succeed him at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola said: “He is able to do that, but it depends on him, the club – many things that I cannot decide.”
He said: “I’m not a guy that puts a gun to the heads of my staff or players and says what they have to do.
“We are human beings and everyone has dreams and desires. Hopefully he can stay this season and the next one – as long as possible in this club.
“That would be my dream, but Mikel has his own life and I will never say what he has to do.”
Guardiola says Oleksandr Zinchenko is fit for the derby game against Manchester United.
“He has trained the last days. I don’t know how many minutes he can play but he is ready,” Guardiola said of the Ukraine international.
Guardiola is looking forward to the match between Manchester’s Premier League sides.
“It is an important game of course. Good rival, big history, of course it is a big game,” he said.
“We play against a good team. We will try to follow the performance we have made in the last games.
“I have all the respect for what they have done for English football, European football and world football.
“They will always be United – a good team.”
Gabriel Jesus scored twice in City’s last game, a 4-1 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.
“He has to be himself. We need him and his goals,” Guardiola said of the Brazil international.
“That is why we won the last game.”
Meanwhile, United counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aimed a sly dig at City’s history at his own press conference to preview the game. Read the full story here.