Former Arsenal player Mikel Arteta is in line to take over at Arsenal after talks with Gunners board members but faces a fight to win over senior players.
Reports understands Arteta has an open road to the Arsenal job after Carlo Ancelotti moved nearer a deal with Everton.
But the former Gunners captain must overcome a furious reaction from his Manchester City bosses and an Arsenal dressing room where senior players wanted Ancelotti at the Emirates.
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City were left fuming and will demand a seven-figure release fee after Arsenal MD Vinai Venkatesham and contracts negotiator Huss Fahmy were pictured leaving the City No.2’s house in the early hours of yesterday following talks.
Arsenal have made their former midfielder Arteta their first choice to succeed Unai Emery and held talks with the 37- year-old at his Manchester home following City’s 3-0 win on Sunday.
City were blindsided by Arsenal’s approach for Arteta and angry that they were not approached, despite their game at the Emirates.
But even if he gets past that issue, Arteta could find established pros at Arsenal struggling to buy into his appointment because they were in favour of the vastly experienced Italian taking over from Unai Emery.
While Arsenal’s top stars respect the club’s former captain, there is a belief in the dressing room that Ancelotti’s years in management at the top of the European game is what they need now.