Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed why he turned down an offer to join Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham coaching staff after retiring from playing.
The Spaniard hung up his boots at the end of the 2015/16 season and was inundated with offers to step into coaching, ultimately joining Pep Guardiola’s staff at Manchester City.
Another offer available to Arteta came from Spurs, where former PSG teammate and close friend Pochettino was keen to add the former Gunners midfielder to his own coaching ranks.
But when asked if he came close to joining Tottenham so soon after ending his playing career at Arsenal, Arteta replied: “No. My relationship with Mauricio comes out since I was 18 years old and I always said that for me he was like a football father.
“I have an extraordinary relationship with him, but unfortunately for my experience as a player he was a coach of Spurs and I was here at the time. And that relationship doesn’t change, but that wasn’t the case [of me being close to joining Spurs].”
On the latest episode of The Chronicles of a Gooner, 90min’s Arsenal podcast, Harry Symeou discusses BBC Sport’s deep dive into Mikel Arteta’s job at the Emirates Stadium and Gabriel Jesus’ agent’s comments on a potential move to the Emirates Stadium.
Arteta’s stock as a coach quickly grew after heading to City and was among a number of final candidates to succeed Arsene Wenger back at Arsenal in 2018, but Unai Emery got the nod instead.
Emery lasted little over a year at the Emirates Stadium and the Gunners would then appoint Arteta as their new head coach in December 2019, upgrading his status to manager following their FA Cup win at the end of that same season.
Arteta is looking to guide Arsenal back into the Champions League for the first time since 2017 and they can secure their top four place with a win at Tottenham on Thursday night.