Manchester City legend Shaun Goater has touted either Mikel Arteta or Patrick Vieira to take over from Pep Guardiola if the esteemed Catalan coach departs at the end of his contract. Both options could annoy Arsenal, with the former making solid progress as manager of the north London side and the latter a club legend who could be eyed up for the job in future.
Guardiola is still going for the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup this season with City setting the pace for much of the campaign. The former Barcelona boss has already won three league titles and five domestic cups since heading to Manchester in 2016, even if European glory continues to elude him and his side.
It is still unknown whether he will extend his stay beyond 2023, but reports indicate that he is keen to take a break or venture into international football. That would leave City one of the most dauting managerial replacement jobs possible.
Goater, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes ahead of the launch of their 5-A-Side bet on Man City v Liverpool, said: “There are only two contenders, for me, who can replace Pep… and Vieira just edges it over Arteta.
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Vieira has done an exceptional job in his debut season as boss of Crystal Palace, exemplified by their shock 3-0 demolition of Arsenal on Monday evening. The former Gunners captain previously spent two years in charge of City’s Elite Development Squad before taking a job at New York City FC.
Arteta was on the wrong end of Monday night’s surprise result, despite drawing praise for powering Arsenal towards the top four after a stuttering start to the season. The Spaniard spent three years as Guardiola’s right-hand man and is considered by many to be his natural replacement if City are keen to continue a similar on-pitch philosophy.
It remains to be seen whether City will make a move for either option at the end of next season, unless Guardiola extends his stay at the Etihad.