Mikel Arteta relishes league and cup battle with mentor Pep Guardiola | football news

Arsenal manager Michael Arteta Says the fierce battle with Pep Guardiola will not change their friendship as both men fight for the Premier League title. Arteta was Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City for three-and-a-half years before taking over at the Gunners in 2019. Arsenal have not won the league title for 19 years, but lead defending champions City by five points and have a game in hand over Guardiola’s men. The two sides clash in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday in the first of three meetings over the coming months.

“I always hoped it would happen one day and it’s happening this season,” Arteta said of facing Guardiola for the title on Wednesday.

“It won’t change any of the friendships, the moments we have, how important he is in my life, how important he is in my career.

“We both want to win and protect our clubs at all costs and always have been since day one.

“I’d rather do it with someone else to be fair. I want the best for him, really, and that comes in when you’re challenging someone like that.”

City’s superior strength in depth could yet prove decisive in the title race and Arteta is keen to strengthen his midfield options. Mohammad Elneny out injured

Arsenal have already signed the Belgium forward Leandro Trossard from Brighton in the January window and Jakub Kiwior, a highly rated young Polish defender.

West Ham’s Declan Rice is said to be the Premier League leaders’ top midfield target, but they will likely have to wait until the summer transfer window to make a move for the England international.

“We need some more cover in midfield ideally if we can,” said Arteta.

“It’s quite difficult to do in this market. The most important thing is the performances and time on the pitch that we get with the players available today who are already really good.

“If there’s anything else available that can make us better, we’ll look at it.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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