Arsenal are preparing a new contract for manager Mikel Arteta in order to fend off interest from Manchester City.
The Spaniard’s current deal expires at the end of the 2022/23 season and the Gunners are uneasy about him entering the last 12 months of his contract.
And the Daily Mail write that they hope to ease these concerns by handing Arteta a new two-year contract, with Arsenal’s top brass delighted with the work he has overseen since replacing Unai Emery.
The club are confident they are moving in the right direction as he continues to empower and build around young players, with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe emerging as key men.
Arsenal have also been impressed by Arteta’s leadership away from the pitch, playing an instrumental role in convincing players to take pay cuts at the start of the pandemic and representing the club well in the media.
The Gunners are aware that Man City could be eyeing Arteta as a successor to Pep Guardiola, whose current contract also expires at the end of next season.
And so Arsenal are actively looking to tie Arteta down to a new deal in order to prevent him from returning to the Etihad Stadium in the near future.
While Arsenal have finished eighth twice in their two seasons under Arteta so far – their lowest rankings since Arsene Wenger first arrived at the club – they did win the 2019/20 FA Cup and have made strides on the pitch this season, muscling their way into top-four contention.