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Mikel Arteta identifies Arsenal transfer targets as talks to join from Man City intensify

Exclusive: Manchester City assistant is expected to take the reins at Arsenal before the end of the week

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 17 December 2019 15:00 GMT
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Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have now reached a stage of negotiation where potential transfers are being discussed, with it now widely anticipated the former midfielder will take the job before the weekend.

Manchester City are insisting that their assistant manager’s contract is fully paid up, but there is not expected to be any issue there.

The state of the Arsenal squad has come up in discussions, with the club hierarchy understood to be concerned with how bad performances had become, even under interim manager Freddie Ljungberg.

The club had hoped to avail of an emotional bounce and appoint Ljungberg until the summer to both buy time and give the former Invincibles attacker some experience, only to become alarmed by the response of many players.

There are now increasing plans for a clear-out, with many high-profile sources complaining that “too many of the players don’t care”. Ljungberg himself is meanwhile said to have become frustrated with the attitude of the squad, although some in turn complained about training sessions under the Swede and Per Mertesacker.

Ljungberg will meet with the club on Thursday to discuss is own future, although there is an expectation he will stay on as an assistant. Part of Arteta’s negotiations are the staff he will bring in, as well as the potential players.

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