Mikel Arteta is edging closer on Arsenal return with City compensation being negotiated Now

Mikel Arteta is edging closer to becoming Arsenal’s head coach with Manchester City’s compensation demands continuing to be negotiated.

It is understood there is a broad agreement in place between the two clubs, with City looking to recoup £2m for their assistant manager.

Despite three weeks of speculation linking Arteta with a move to north London, no discussions took place between the two parties when City played at the Emirates last Sunday.

However, Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham and club lawyer Huss Fahmy were photographed leaving Arteta’s Manchester home in the early hours of Monday morning after a meeting lasting over two hours.

City are resigned to losing Arteta and will not stand in his way, but are expected to be less than flexible when it comes to both the amount of compensation and the payment schedules agreed with Arsenal.

The Gunners fuelled speculation Arteta’s appointment could be imminent on Thursday after postponing interim boss Freddie Ljungberg’s news conference to Friday.

Ljungberg was set to face the media ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton – by which time Arsenal hope to have former club captain Arteta in place.

However, the club have moved the news conference to Friday, giving no information about who will face the media.

Arteta, who played for Arsenal from 2011 to 2016, reportedly said his farewells to staff at City on Thursday morning.

Sky in Italy are reporting Arteta has told City’s board he wants to leave to become the Gunners’ head coach, but he did travel with his current employers to Oxford for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final to be on the bench alongside Pep Guardiola.

Following that game, which City won 3-1, Guardiola was once again asked about Arteta’s future, saying: “There was no change. I don’t have any news.

“We prepared the game as best as possible. I spoke yesterday, my press conference I had 48 questions and 35 were about Mikel so I don’t have to say anything more until there is news.

“When there is news, in my next press conference when you ask me something I will answer.”

Ljungberg has been in temporary charge of the Gunners since Spaniard Unai Emery was sacked on November 29.

The Swede has overseen just one victory in his five matches in charge.

Arsenal are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and the same number clear of the relegation zone following Sunday’s 3-0 home defeat to Arteta’s current club.

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