Mikel Arteta has opened up on why he turned down chances to manager his former side Arsenal and Newcastle United.
The Spaniard was tipped to replace Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2018 before the north London side settled for Unai Emery. He was also linked with Newcastle after Rafael Benitez left his role before the start of the current season but instead, he opted to remain at City as an assistant. The former Arsenal captain says that “loyalty” to Pep Guardiola’s side was part of the reason behind both rejections.
“I was about to leave [for Arsenal], but I stopped myself. The first [time] was different, the second [Newcastle] was mostly me,” he told SER Catalunya.
“Firstly, I am not in a hurry and I have not felt that I need to take the step. There are important conditions, especially in the first experience for me, that are vital. I learned that these are essential to develop what you want, no matter how clear your vision is.
“And the third is a matter of loyalty, when you promise someone to continue next year, with little time to maneuver, it was not appropriate to make that decision.
“And because I think we still have that space for improvement and that ambition to be able to do something we dream of, which is to win the Champions League. That work remains to be done. Winning the four domestic titles is something that nobody had done before and we did that with players who have a lot of development and improvement potential.
“And a group in which I am super comfortable. We have a staff environment where we are challenged daily but at the same time, we have a very good human collective. And you are comfortable and have fun, and every day this good atmosphere helps a lot.”