Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned Mikel Arteta he faces a huge job to turn around Arsenal’s fortunes this season.
Arteta is expected to become the Gunners’ next manager with the North London club hoping he will be in charge for Saturday’s trip to Everton .
He will take over an Arsenal side languishing in 10th place in the Premier League after just one win in 12 matches in all competitions.
That win was a 3-1 victory at West Ham under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg, who has had five games in charge after taking over following the sacking of Unai Emery as manager at the end of last month.
And Guardiola says his current No2 Arteta is facing a tough task as Arsenal aim to recapture some of the success they enjoyed under Arsene Wenger, who guided the Gunners to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup triumphs.
“I think Arsenal [are] always one of the best teams of the last 20 years,” Guardiola said in quotes reported by Goal .
“When Arsene took over the team, he raised the club to another level and now they are struggling a little bit the last years.
“When the club takes a decision to replace the manager or buy players it’s always to rise to be better. Whether it’s going to happen or not, I don’t know.
“You know my opinion about Mikel. He’s a professional human being and a person, I don’t have doubts about that.”
Arteta is set to be alongside City boss Pep Guardiola for their Carabao Cup tie away to Oxford United on Wednesday night.
But the former Arsenal captain is now believed to be ready to finalise a three-and-a-half year deal at the Emirates after extensive negotiations in the past 48 hours.
Asked to give a reason why 37-year-old Arteta should stay at City and not go to his former club, Guardiola said: “It is a good argument. Why not?
“We are not going to tell him, stay, stay stay, if he doesn’t want to stay.”