Arsenal target free to join the Gunners

Mikel Arteta has been cleared by Manchester City chiefs to take over at Arsenal.

The Etihad coach and former Gunners midfielder is now ready for immediate negotiations with Emirates chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.

Spaniard Arteta got the go-ahead after meeting City manager Pep Guardiola and director of football Txiki Begiristain, according to Spanish outlet sport.es.

The ex-Everton star, 36, has emerged as the overwhelming favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger as Arsenal boss.

And it is understood Arteta could be talking over the role today with Gunners’ bigwigs.

Gazidis is looking more for a head coach than a traditional boss as Arsenal have a new management structure.

But Arteta would be allowed to bring in his own backroom staff.

Mikel Arteta has emerged as an outstanding coach in the past two years under Manchester City chief Pep Guardiola.

The former Spain Under-21 midfielder has built up a superb reputation as a coach in his two years at the Etihad. And Arsenal would hope he could grow into the daunting task of succeeding long-serving Wenger.

Though, the Gunners have called in all-time great Arsenal striker Thierry Henry for talks next week.

Arteta remains the strong favourite but Belgium assistant boss Henry, 40, has legendary status at the Emirates and a burgeoning reputation as a coach.

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