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Mikel Arteta has confirmed that he did consider leaving Manchester City to take the Arsenal job over the summer but is ‘very happy’ working under Pep Guardiola.
The Spaniard – who conducted Tuesday’s pre-match press conference ahead of facing Lyon in the Champions League due to Guardiola’s touchline ban – was one of the favourites to succeed Arsene Wenger at the Emirates.
However, the north London club ultimately decided to go with Unai Emery over Arteta, and the City coach insists he is happy to continue as Guardiola’s right-hand man.
Asked about nearly leaving City, Arteta said: ‘In football it’s so hard to predict things. When things happen you have to make decisions. ‘A decision was made and I’m so happy the decision was made and I’m very privileged to be in the position I’m in.’
Pressed further on how close he came to getting the Arsenal job, Arteta continued: ‘I didn’t talk on that moment two, three months ago, I didn’t make a statement, and I don’t think today is the day to talk about it. ‘You all know something happened but the reality is that I am here and I am very happy.’
Arteta will be in the dugout in Guardiola’s place against Lyon and he is confident he will take on the role permanently sometime in the future. He added: ‘If you ask me in the future will I be a coach the answer will be yes, but I am very pleased where I am.’