a89h3q4o mikel arteta afp 625x300 25 January 23

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says a bitter battle with Pep Guardiola will not change their friendship as the pair battle for the Premier League title. Arteta spent three-and-a-half years as Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City before taking charge of the Gunners in 2019. Arsenal have not won a league title in 19 years but are five points clear of defending champions Manchester City with one game remaining against Pep Guardiola’s men. On Friday, the sides will play three games in the next few months in the FA Cup fourth round The first match in the confrontation.

“I’ve always hoped that one day would be like this and it’s happening this season,” Arteta said on Wednesday as he battled Guardiola for the title.

doesn’t change any of the friendships, the moments we had, how important he was in my life, how important he was in my career.

“We’re all willing to win and defend our club in any way we can, and that’s been the case from day one.

“To be fair, I’d rather do with someone else. I really want the best for him and when you challenge with someone like that, it’s somewhere in between.”

City’s depth advantage could prove decisive in the title race, with Arteta eager to his midfield options with Mohamed Elneny sidelined through injury.

Arsenal have signed Belgian striker Leandro Trossard from Brighton and highly-rated young Polish defender Jakub Kiewel in the January transfer window.

West Ham United’s Declan Rice is reportedly a top midfield target for the Premier League leaders, but they may have to wait until the summer transfer window to bring in the England international.

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“We ideally need more cover in midfield if we can,” Arteta said.

“It’s very complicated to do that in this market. The bottom line is we’re getting the performances and minutes we need, and the players we have today are already fantastic.”

“If there’s anything else available that can make us better, we’ll look at it.”

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from syndicated feeds.)

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By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...