Mikel Arteta could join Pep Guardiola's coaching staff at Manchester City if he decides to hang up his boots and retire at the end of the season. The Arsenal midfielder, whose contract expires this summer, is a close friend of the incoming City boss after playing in Barcelona's academy while Guardiola was a first-team regular.
Arteta is determined to become a coach and has already completed some of his badges. He has also gained experience by working with the Gunners' Under 13s and Wales' Under 16s.
Guardiola is set to bring fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura - another friend of Arteta - with him to the Etihad when his contract expires at the end of the season. And the Spaniard is now considering offering the former Everton and Rangers star a first-team role within his backroom team as he prepares for his first job in the Premier League.
Guardiola and Arteta, who both came through Barca's famed La Masia academy, were pictured in conversation on the side of the Emirates pitch after Arsenal's 2-0 Champions League win against Bayern in October last year.
Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta were deep in conversation pitch side long after the match. #AFCvBAY @ChampionsLeague pic.twitter.com/MEZ7DXkfJc— Des Kelly (@DesKellyBTS) October 20, 2015
Arteta, who is keeping his options open after visiting Guardiola at Bayern's Sabener Strasse training complex, has suffered a number of injuries over the last two seasons, with a calf problem restricting him to just eight top-flight appearances this term.
Arsene Wenger could offer Arteta a role at Arsenal if he does not continue his playing career elsewhere, although it is unlikely to be as senior as the position with Guardiola and City.