By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Mikel Arteta has agreed to join the Manchester City coaching staff in the summer, Football Insider sources understand.
The Arsenal midfielder, whose playing contract ends next month, has rejected offers from the Gunners and their north London rivals Tottenham to join incoming City manager Pep Guardiola.
A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Arteta will link up with his new employers on 1 July after finalising the paperwork on a deal with the 2012 and 2014 Premier League winners.
It ends the playing career of the 34-year-old Spaniard, whose decision to bring down the curtain, as revealed by Football Insider in February, had been partly motivated by a chronic calf problem.
Guardiola persuaded Arteta to move to Manchester after sounding him out earlier this year about joining his coaching set-up at Etihad Stadium.
Arteta is a friend of Guardiola and his fitness coach, Lorenzo Buenaventura, and held talks with the pair recently at Bayern Munich’s Säbener Strasse training headquarters.
Arteta also had the option of making what would have been a seismic switch from Emirates Stadium to White Hart Lane and join the Spurs coaching staff.
The Arsenal captain played alongside Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino when they were together at Paris Saint-Germain at opposite stages of their careers, with Arteta claiming his former team mate was “like a Dad” and one of the biggest influences on his career.
The third option was for Arteta to remain at Arsenal and progress through the coaching ranks at the club where he has spent the last six years.
The Spaniard has begun preparing for his post-playing days by starting to take his coaching badges at Arsenal and has been working with the club’s academy during his increasingly frequent absences from the first team.
In other Manchester City news, a key playmaker could be offloaded by Guardiola in the forthcoming transfer window.