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Mikel Arteta explains why he rejected Arsenal and Newcastle United to stay at Man City

Mikel Arteta has spoken out on his loyalty to Pep Guardiola and Manchester City (Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has explained the reasons behind his decision to stay at Manchester City following discussions with Arsenal and Newcastle United.

After calling time on his playing career at Arsenal, Arteta began his path as a coach under Pep Guardiola at City in the summer of 2016.

Arteta has since become an instrumental figure in Guardiola’s coaching setup and has created tactical plans to help City beat Arsenal on more than one occasion.

Last year, the 37-year-old held extensive talks with Arsenal about succeeding Arsene Wenger as manager before he opted to remain at City and the Gunners went on to appoint Unai Emery.

Arteta was also high on Newcastle United’s managerial shortlist following Rafa Benitez’s departure earlier this summer but the Spaniard once again decided to stay at City and continue to work under Guardiola.

Arteta held talks to replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager last year (Getty Images)

Asked about his decision to reject Arsenal in an interview with SER Catalunya, Arteta said: ‘Yes, there have been some things, but the decision I have made is that I am very happy where I am, I feel very valued and fulfilled. And the road will continue here.’

Asked if he was closer to leaving for Arsenal last year than he was this summer following Newcastle’s interest, Arteta said: ‘Sometimes, I was about to leave, but I stopped myself.

‘The first [time] was different, the second was mostly me.

‘Firstly, that I am not in a hurry and I have not felt that I need to take the step.

‘There are important conditions, especially in a first experience for me that are vital and eventually… I learned that these are essential to develop what you want, no matter how clear your vision is.

Arteta says he wanted to remain loyal to Pep Guardiola after talks with Arsenal (Getty)

‘And the third is a matter of loyalty, when you promise someone to continue next year, with little time to manoeuvre, it was not appropriate to make that decision.

‘And because I think we still have that space for improvement and that ambition to be able to do something we dream of, which is to win the Champions League. That work remains to be done.

‘Winning the four domestic titles is something that nobody had done before and we did that with players who have a lot of development and improvement potential.

‘And a group in which I am super comfortable.

‘We have a staff environment where we are challenged daily but at the same time we have a very good human collective. And you are comfortable and have fun, and every day this good atmosphere helps a lot.’

Guardiola is still aiming to win his first Champions League trophy since his success with Barcelona in 2011 but Arteta admits City need luck in that competition and has stressed the importance of ensuring that the team are still consistent in the Premier League.

‘So many things happen every day, you can plan what you will do two hours before training and from there a little more, but there are many surprises, good and bad,’ said the Spaniard.

‘A Champions League is decided by very small details that are sometimes not in your hands.

‘And those that are in your hands are sometimes down to the players, the efficiency and dynamics of the group, competing in all competitions, being alert and taking the group to the end of the season with the best conditions.

Arteta has stressed the importance of Man City’s continued dominance in the Premier League (AP Photo)

‘And from there you need to have that bit of luck you need to reach a Champions League final.

‘For us the value of the Premier League here is unquestionable, after the rivals we have faced to win, from the challenge Liverpool gave us last year, and they will push us this year again.

‘Those of us here know what it costs to win a Premier League. That does not mean that one of the greatest illusions is to take this club to win something that it has never won.

‘Premier Leagues have been won before we arrived but we we have not had the consistency we have achieved. But it is the ambition to be able to do something that we believe we are close to.’




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