The deal for Mikel Arteta to become Arsenal manager is “almost done”, says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Spaniard Arteta, who is Guardiola’s assistant at City, is in London and expected to be named as the Gunners manager on Friday.
The former Arsenal and Everton midfielder, 37, was not at training on Thursday and Guardiola says City will not be looking for a replacement.
“I am pretty sure he is going to do an excellent job.” said Guardiola.
“I don’t know precisely about the contract, but it is there.”
Discussing Arteta’s replacement, Guardiola said: “We stay with the same people who are here.
“He decided to move there and when you have a dream you cannot stop it; you have to follow your dreams.
“Arsenal was important to him. He finished his career there, they’re one of the biggest clubs in the country and I wish him all the best.”
There has been annoyance at City over Arsenal’s conduct but they will not prevent Arteta succeeding Unai Emery, who was sacked by the Gunners in November.
They failed to mention their interest in Arteta despite the two teams meeting in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium on Sunday – a game City won 3-0.
Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham was pictured outside the Spaniard’s home several hours later.
A seven-figure compensation payment will be made.
Arsenal interim boss Freddie Ljungberg is expected to take charge of the team for the final time at Goodison Park on Saturday, with Arteta watching from the stands.