(Reuters) – Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has no doubts that his assistant Mikel Arteta will be a manager one day but has ruled out the possibility of the Spaniard taking over at another club during the current season.
Arteta is among the bookmakers favourites to take over at his former club Arsenal if incumbent Unai Emery is sacked.
Arsenal are eighth in the Premier League, 19 points adrift of leaders Liverpool and eight shy of the Champions League spots following their 2-2 home draw against Southampton last Saturday.
“Unai Emery is the manager of Arsenal,” Guardiola told reporters. “Of course (Arteta) will be a manager sooner or later. We are going to finish the season but in the future I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Former Arsenal captain Arteta, who joined Guardiola’s staff three years ago, was also backed for the job by Arsene Wenger before the long-serving Frenchman left the club.
Guardiola, however, is in no rush to lose his right-hand man.
“I’d like him to stay with us,” he added. “Manchester City has a person of incredible value to work here in the future. But professional desires are professional desires. Everyone is more than satisfied to have him here.
“… He is an incredible human being and works a lot. I said after a few months together he would be a manager. He’s already a manager — he behaves like a manager.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)