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Guardiola distance self from Arteta Arsenal links

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Pep Guardiola confirmed Mikel Arteta will travel with Manchester City to Newcastle United but would not discuss whether his assistant might be a target for Arsenal.

Arteta was linked with former club Arsenal when Arsene Wenger departed in 2018, before Unai Emery was appointed head coach.

But Emery was sacked on Friday following a run of seven matches without a win in all competitions, again prompting talk of Arteta returning to London.

Guardiola would only affirm the Spaniard remains a member of his staff for the trip to Tyneside when he faced the media on Friday.

“He is in the squad, he travels to Newcastle.” Guardiola said of his fellow Spaniard.

Asked about the possibility of Arsenal making an approach for the 37-year-old, the City boss said: “It’s not a question for me.”

Guardiola expressed sympathy for Emery and said his opinion of the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain coach had not been altered by a poor run.

“I’m so sorry for him,” the City boss said. “Every time a manager is sacked, it’s not good news.

“It changes nothing about my opinion on his capacity. He is an incredible professional, who did incredibly well in Spain and in France.

“He made an incredible achievement. I don’t think anybody – okay, Zinedine Zidane with Real Madrid [in the Champions League] – could win three Europa Leagues in a row with Sevilla.

“It’s one of the most incredible achievements. But that’s football. He knows, I know it depends on the results. It’s simple. But I’m sure he will find a new job soon.”

by Getty Images

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