Arsenal club captain, midfielder Mikel Arteta, could begin his post-playing career away from Arsenal and under the tutelage of close friend Pep Guardiola next season as an assistant coach at Manchester City, Arsene Wenger hinted at Friday.
"It is possible," Wenger said when asked if Arteta could depart for a backroom role at City. "It is true that he is out of contract here and when his contract finishes it is a good opportunity for me to thank him for his contribution, not only as a player but also as a leader.
"What kind of orientation will he give now to his career? I heard about that possibility but he could inform you much better than I can. He is free to decide to do what he wants, he will certainly need some time to reflect on whether he continues to play.
While it's unknown, exactly, what type of manager Arteta could one day become, it's no secret that he's held in high regard for his footballing intelligence and tactical nous. A product of La Masia when Guardiola was at Barcelona, Arteta has stayed in close touch ever since with the soon-to-be former manager of Bayern Munich.
Over the past year, Wenger has allowed Arteta to work closely with the youth set up at Arsenal, something he's done for previous players in the past. But Wenger's long been adamant on not creating new coaching positions at the club, nor forcing out incumbents, in order to bring players up quickly through the coaching ranks at Arsenal.
If the Arteta-to-City rumors are true, Wenger's position in this specific regard hasn't changed.