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Mikel Arteta watches City win as speculation over his future continues

Man City boss Pep Guardiola was unable to provide an update on the future of Mikel Arteta.

Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta has been heavily linked with the vacant managerial role at Arsenal (Mike Egerton/PA)
Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta has been heavily linked with the vacant managerial role at Arsenal (Mike Egerton/PA)

By George Sessions, PA

Mikel Arteta watched Manchester City progress to the Carabao Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 win at Oxford on Wednesday night, but questions remain over how much longer Pep Guardiola’s number two will remain at the Etihad.

The Spaniard has been heavily linked with the vacant managerial role at Arsenal and talks between the former Gunners midfielder and the hierarchy at Emirates Stadium have taken place since Sunday.

Despite this, Arteta continued in his role as City assistant coach at Kassam Stadium and saw Raheem Sterling’s double help them eventually get the better of the League One side.

Joao Cancelo had put the visitors ahead only for Matty Taylor to equalise 21 seconds into the second half.

Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta was on duty for the Oxford game despite being linked with a move to Arsenal (Mike Egerton/PA)

After stand-in captain Sterling hit a second-half brace to set up a two-legged last four clash with Man United, Guardiola was quizzed on the future of Arteta.

On Tuesday, Arsenal revealed their pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s fixture at Everton would take place at 1.30pm on Thursday, but will it be interim manager Freddie Ljungberg or the current City assistant coach who is facing the media?

“There was no change. I don’t have any news,” Guardiola said. “We prepared the game as best as possible. Before, during and now after and we did it.

“I spoke (Tuesday), 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.”

Matty Taylor’s goal gave Oxford hope after drawing them level with Manchester City (Bradley Collyer/PA)

City boss Guardiola was complimentary about Karl Robinson’s side, who pushed the holders close on a wet and windy night in Oxford.

He added: “They are a top side, I said to Karl. Last season they played good, this season they were even better so maybe next season they will be back?

“It’s a typical cup competitions here in England. In this period, they are always really tough.

“We made a lot of changes and the young players that played were really good and the others who played were good.”

Oxford paid tribute to former manager Jim Smith before the game (Mike Egerton/PA)

At full time, Guardiola shared a warm embrace with U’s manager Robinson and appeared to congratulate the former MK Dons boss on the performance of his side.

While the Oxford chief did not want to go into detail about their conversation, he was proud of his players.

“The things he said after the game, I will keep that internally, but it will be stuff that will stay with me forever,” Robinson said.

“I didn’t want to come here, roll over and let them walk out and we have not lay a glove on them.

“It is a great night for the fans to be associated with this football club. “



From Belfast Telegraph