Arsenal's new boss Mikel Arteta has claimed being ruthless and consistent is what has made Pep Guardiola such a successful manager.

Arteta was announced as Arsenal's new permanent head coach on Friday, with Freddie Ljungberg having been in interim charge since Unai Emery was sacked in November.

He joins the Gunners after assisting Guardiola at City since 2016, winning two Premier League titles, two EFL Cups and the FA Cup during his time in Manchester.

Arteta, who came close to taking over at Arsenal in 2018 before Emery succeeded Arsene Wenger, plans to champion some of Guardiola's best qualities as he looks to revitalise fortunes at Emirates Stadium.

"What I've learned mostly is you have to be ruthless, consistent and fit every day the culture of the club to have a winning mentality," Arteta, who will officially take charge of the Gunners after Saturday's game at Everton, told a news conference.

"To sustain it is even harder, so every day is important, every act is important, every word of the organisation is important.

"[Pep's] work rate is incredible. How inspirational he is to people is incredible, but to me the secret is the players and staff have to believe what you deliver. You have to be able to transmit it and then people will buy into that.

"When you do that, you have a team, everyone is united, and we will be strong."

Arteta acknowledged it was difficult to leave City, who are 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool in what has been a more difficult season, but believes the opportunity was too good to turn down.

"Sometimes you can have a plan, an idea or a way to develop," he said. "But then emotions get involved and when Arsenal knocks, it is difficult to say no.

"It was a very difficult decision, but I felt the club needed someone to appoint. They trusted me and were so convinced they wanted to go with me, I had to take the challenge.

"It wasn't the right time [in 2018]. When things don't happen, it's because it's not the right time. I'm glad it's come now.

"I've learned a lot from that experience, it was great to be a part of a process of that nature and I was better prepared for this one and it was a positive thing to happen."

However, the former midfielder insists his relationship with Guardiola and City remains intact, even though the timing of his departure could prove troublesome.

"The relationship between him and me is incredibly good. Obviously, he was sad, the timing wasn't the best for him, but he understood," Arteta said.

"He knows how I've been growing and the needs that I had, emotionally, the ambitions that I had. If I had admiration for him before, after working with him, I could not explain how much of a nice person he is and what a professional he is.

"The way he reacted, he knew that I was suffering, because I was in a moment where [City] needed me as well, so I felt in that sense sad, but he has been so supportive.

"The relationship could not be any better. I said goodbye yesterday to all the staff, the players. I cried, because they've been my family for three and a half years, and we had incredible moments.

"We had a dream to do something in England with Pep that people said was impossible. 'The Premier League, you will get bullied'. We did it, in the way we wanted. It was so fulfilling, to share that moment of our lives."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has wished former assistant Mikel Arteta well after he was confirmed as Arsenal's new head coach and claimed the 37-year-old is ready for the step up.

The protracted process to announce a successor for Unai Emery was concluded on Friday when ex-Gunners captain Arteta signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Emirates Stadium.

Arteta was part of the coaching staff that has led City to two consecutive Premier League titles with massive points totals of 100 and 98, the highest in the competition's history.

He was linked with taking charge at Arsenal when Arsene Wenger departed in 2018 only for Emery to be appointed instead, but he will now have his first chance to impress in the hotseat at a club where he was captain in a five-season spell as a player.

"Mikel has been an excellent coach for Manchester City," Guardiola told the club's official website.

"He has shown impressive dedication, hard work and knowledge of football during his time here and has been a real contributor to the club's achievements over the past years.

"We all wish him well in his new role; I am sure he is ready for it."

Director of football at City Txiki Begiristain added: "Mikel, as a member of Pep's team, has contributed significantly to the club in his time here in Manchester. 

"His work on the training field and detailed preparations have helped us become a side that wins with regularity and in style.

"This move to Arsenal is a further step in his football development and I am sure he will become a top-class coach."

City midfielder Phil Foden was among those to pay tribute to Arteta on social media.

The teenager wrote on Twitter: "Thank you for all your help with everything and good luck."

Team-mate Ilkay Gundogan added, with a wink: "Good luck on your new chapter... but not for the games against us."

New head coach Mikel Arteta has been welcomed back to the "Arsenal family" by his former Gunners team-mate Mesut Ozil.

Arteta has penned a three-and-a-half-year contract with Arsenal and will take up his new role on Sunday after leaving Manchester City, where he has been Pep Guardiola's assistant for the last three seasons.

The former midfielder joined Arsenal from Everton in 2011, spending five years with the Gunners before retiring in 2016 and moving into a coaching role under Guardiola.

He replaces his compatriot Unai Emery, who was dismissed after a dismal run of form that interim boss Freddie Ljungberg has been unable to significantly improve on.

Ozil, who played alongside Arteta for three seasons and found himself out of favour for long periods under Emery, tweeted his support for his new coach.

"Welcome back to the Arsenal family," the playmaker, who has been linked with a move away from the club, posted to his official Twitter account.

Arsenal's board believe that, in Arteta, they have found the ideal candidate to take the club forward, with the Spaniard understanding the Gunners' expectations.

"We're delighted to be bringing Mikel back to Arsenal," director Josh Kroenke told the club's official website.

"He knows our expectations and those of our fans around the world are high and we are confident he can play a lead role in taking the club back to the levels we all demand.

"I also want to thank Freddie Ljungberg for skilfully guiding us through the last three weeks. He stepped up at short notice and has helped us through this difficult period with great professionalism."

Head of football Raul Sanllehi, added: "We met several top-class candidates and Mikel stood out to every single one of us as the perfect person for us.

"Mikel understands Arsenal and what it means to our fans around the world. We look forward to him getting down to work and bringing the best out of our squad as we work to get our season back on track.

"I must also pay tribute to Freddie Ljungberg for his hard work and leadership. Together with Per Mertesacker, he has done a vital job for us in difficult circumstances. Freddie and Per are important parts of the Arsenal family and care deeply for this club."

Ljungberg is set to continue in his temporary role for Saturday's contest with Everton, before Arteta takes the reins.

Mikel Arteta is the latest man to be charged with restoring success to a failing Arsenal, and Gunners fans will hope his previous working relationship with Pep Guardiola gives the Basque coach a head start.

Arsenal ditched another Basque tactician in Unai Emery last month and the process to appoint a replacement has been anything but swift.

Freddie Ljungberg took charge in an interim capacity but managed just a single win in five matches, highlighting the sorry state of the situation inherited by Arteta, whose appointment as head coach was confirmed on Friday.

It is former Arsenal captain Arteta's first job in management, having spent the three years since he retired from playing working as an assistant to Guardiola at Manchester City.

Guardiola has credited Arteta with improving him as a manager and believes the San Sebastian native is "absolutely ready" to strike out on his own after a "magnificent" time together at City.

Given his success in management, Guardiola has unsurprisingly been mentioned as a major inspiration for many coaches.

Here, we examine four others to have worked closely with Guardiola and enjoyed success.

Tito Vilanova

Guardiola and Vilanova came through Barcelona's youth academy together as youngsters, though the latter went on to spend much of his playing career in the lower divisions. They reunited as coaches in 2007, with Vilanova assuming the role of assistant with the Barcelona B side, before taking up a similar position when Guardiola was promoted to the senior team the following year.

They worked together until Guardiola departed in 2012, with Vilanova subsequently appointed his successor. He led Barca to LaLiga success despite requiring a leave of absence for cancer treatment, but he officially stepped down in July 2013 due to a relapse. Vilanova died in April 2014 due to complications from cancer.

Luis Enrique

Although Luis Enrique never worked specifically in tandem with Guardiola, he did succeed his friend and former team-mate when taking charge of Barca B in 2008. That meant Luis Enrique's team fed directly into Guardiola's senior side for three seasons.

"You could see from the start he was special," the City boss once said of the former attacking midfielder, who like Guardiola also won a treble in his debut season in charge of the Barcelona first team after spells at Roma and Celta Vigo. Luis Enrique has since gone on to become Spain coach.

Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag had already coached a senior team when he was put in charge of Bayern Munich's second string in June 2013, having led Go Ahead Eagles to a sixth-placed finish in the Eerste Divisie. Despite managing separate teams at the club, Ten Hag and first-team boss Guardiola worked closely. Guardiola said last season: "I was lucky to meet him at Bayern and he was an assistant from the second team. We had a lot of chats."

Ten Hag left Bayern the year before Guardiola and led Utrecht to fifth and fourth in the Eredivisie, earning him a shot at the big time with Ajax. Since his December 2017 appointment, the Dutchman has won a league title and taken Ajax to the Champions League semis last term. A return to Bayern – but this time with the senior side – appears likely.

Domenec Torrent

It is unlikely there is anyone in world football more familiar with Guardiola's work than Torrent. After first teaming up with Barcelona B, the pair worked side by side for 11 years until 2018. "When we started in La Tercera [fourth tier in Spain], I never thought I would be with him so much, but then we won every possible title," Torrent told El Diario earlier this year when he was in charge of New York City FC.

He presided over the MLS side as they won the Eastern Conference this year, before stepping down in November. Although keen to continue his management career, don't rule out a return to Guardiola's side. "If Pep calls me, I will go [to him]," Torrent said in May. "I am grateful and I know that I owe it all to him. If I had not been his assistant, I would not be here. I like being a head coach and I will only stop being one if Pep thinks I can be useful [to him]."

Sergio Aguero and John Stones are in line to face Leicester City on Saturday, but David Silva remains a doubt, according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Aguero has not played for the Premier League champions since suffering a thigh injury in the 2-1 win over Chelsea on November 23, while Stones was hurt in the 2-1 derby defeat to Manchester United on December 7.

Both players resumed training this week and Guardiola appeared hopeful on Friday that they will be ready for the visit of Leicester to the Etihad Stadium.

Silva, however, still seems to be struggling with a knock he sustained against United.

"Sergio and John Stones have trained," Guardiola told a news conference. "They have had two sessions. David Silva, no."

The likely returns of Aguero and Stones come as a boost to City, who go into the game four points behind Leicester in the table and 14 adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola expects a difficult game against Brendan Rodgers' side but remains confident City can close the gap at the top.

"There are a lot of games to play," he said. "The distance we have now, the teams in front or behind can change in a few weeks, and especially in this period. We have to do what we have to do.

"They [Leicester] have a lot of quality and they play good and control all departments of the game. They are a fantastic team and last season I thought they would be fighting for the top four."

Rodgers hopes Saturday's game can serve as a showcase for how strong his side have become, particularly stars such as James Maddison.

"It is the game where the big players and the big personalities can perform and thankfully James has done that throughout the season," Rodgers said.

"He has got eight goals in 20 games, which for a young midfield player is absolutely brilliant. He has that personality and belief that in the big games he can perform.

"We respect we are playing against a really top-class team that have been the champions the last couple of seasons and play to a fantastic level.

"It is a great opportunity for us to show we are improving and for our players to demonstrate their qualities in such a big game.

"We are mindful of their quality, but I would say it is a great opportunity for us to show our qualities and the talent we have in our team."

Mikel Arteta will bid to bring back the spark to Arsenal after being appointed head coach of the Premier League club on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Confirmation of his decision to leave Manchester City and return to the club where he ended his playing days came on Friday as Arsenal announced the widely expected move.

The Spaniard spent three and a half years as assistant to compatriot Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, and City were keen for Arteta to stay with them.

He looked primed as a strong contender to one day succeed Guardiola, but Arteta was not prepared to wait for the chance to take charge of a Premier League club.

The 37-year-old will take up his new position on Sunday, the day after Arsenal face Everton - another of his former clubs - in the Premier League.

This is a huge honour," said Arteta. "Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to be competing for the top trophies in the game and that's been made very clear to me in my discussions with Stan and Josh Kroenke, and the senior people from the club.

"We all know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that but I am confident we'll do it. I'm realistic enough to know it won't happen overnight but the current squad has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of young players coming through from the academy."

Arsenal have drifted to 10th place in the Premier League after 17 games. They sit seven points shy of the Champions League places, having also missed out on a top-four finish last season.

Arteta succeeds another Spaniard, Unai Emery, who was installed in May 2018 when Arsene Wenger's 22-year reign came to an end.

Arsenal bided their time before making a play for Arteta, initially putting former Gunners midfielder Freddie Ljungberg in charge when Emery left on November 29.

The Swede struggled to make a case for keeping the job in the long term, though, with his five games in charge to date yielding just one victory, a 3-1 success at West Ham in the Premier League.

Ljungberg, who will remain at the helm for the Everton game, urged Arsenal to hurry up and make an appointment after Sunday's 3-0 blitzing by City, when Arteta had a close-at-hand view of the shortcomings at Emirates Stadium.

In the early hours of the following morning, senior officials from Arsenal were pictured leaving Arteta's home, having seemingly settled on him as their preferred choice.

City were said to be unhappy with the manner of the approach, but Guardiola made it clear he would not stand in Arteta's way.

Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira had also been linked with the post, while Brendan Rodgers effectively ruled himself out of the running by signing a lucrative new five-and-a-half-year deal with high-flying Leicester.

The Emery era will not be fondly remembered, with the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss brought in to refresh a flagging playing squad but proving unable to improve the team's fortunes.

A Europa League run masked some of Arsenal's failings last season, until they were thumped 4-1 by Chelsea in the final. Losing Aaron Ramsey on a free transfer to Juventus was another major blow.

Arteta inherits a squad containing plenty of attacking quality from the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette; however, Wenger and Emery alike struggled to build a reliable spine to the team, and that will be a priority for the new boss.

Mikel Arteta is in London to finalise a deal to become the new Arsenal head coach, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Arteta has long been tipped to succeed Unai Emery at Emirates Stadium but the move has reportedly been held up due to disagreements between the two clubs over a compensation package.

However, Guardiola says the man who has been his assistant at City for the past three years is close to becoming the Gunners' new boss.

"Mikel is in London," Guardiola said on Friday. "He is close to doing a deal with Arsenal. That's what I know.

"It's almost done. Yesterday, he didn't train. He didn't train today."

Guardiola also suggested City would not appoint a replacement for Arteta this season, adding: "We stay with the same people that are here."

Arteta spent the final five years of his playing career with Arsenal and Guardiola says he could not stand in the way of the 37-year-old's "dream" of taking charge in north London.

"He decided to move there and when you have dreams you cannot stop it. You have to follow your dreams," Guardiola said.

"Arsenal was a big part of his career. It's one of the best teams in England and I wish him all the best. I'm pretty sure he will do an excellent job."

Interim coach Freddie Ljungberg is expected to be in charge of Arsenal's Premier League game against Everton on Saturday, although it has been suggested Arteta could attend the match at Goodison Park, where he played for six-and-a-half years before his move to the Gunners.

After Everton away, Arsenal's next match is at home to Bournemouth on December 26.

Mikel Arteta looks to be on his way out of Manchester City, and it may not be long before he is followed by Pep Guardiola.

That is if reports linking Paris Saint-Germain with a move for the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach are to be believed.

Meanwhile, Arteta is not the only big managerial appointment expected imminently in the Premier League, with Carlo Ancelotti close to being confirmed as Everton boss, and reports suggest a big-name could be in line to follow the Italian to Goodison Park.

 

TOP STORY – GUARDIOLA LINED UP BY PSG

According to Le10 Sport, Paris Saint-Germain will look to swap Thomas Tuchel with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola next season.

Guardiola is currently under contract with City until 2021, though has said he is open to extending his deal. However, these reports claim PSG will aim to bring in the Spaniard, along with former Barca star Xavi, who will act as his number two.

While City are 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, PSG are top of Ligue 1 and will face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last 16.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Mauricio Pochettino is holding off on making any commitment to Real Madrid as he waits to see how Guardiola's situation at Manchester City plays out.

- According to The Telegraph, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is open to linking up with former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Everton. Ancelotti is reportedly set to be appointed by the Toffees and Ibrahimovic – who has been linked to Milan and Napoli – could follow him to Merseyside.

Mesut Ozil is close to securing a loan move from Arsenal to Fenerbahce in January, according to Turkish newspaper Fotomac.

- Madrid winger Vinicius Jr. has been linked with a move to the Premier League. El Desmarque reports Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Wolves are all interested in the Brazilian.

- Another potential outgoing from Arsenal could be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with The Mirror saying one of Arteta's first tasks will be to convince the Gunners' captain to stay put.

- Sky Sports reports Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs are all monitoring Lille forward Victor Osimhen, who has scored nine Ligue 1 goals this term.

- Inter great Dejan Stankovic is poised to become head coach of Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade. After Vladan Milojevic stepped down on Thursday, reports in Serbia claim the former Red Star midfielder will be unveiled on Friday. This is set to be Stankovic's first senior job.

Tottenham are considering a January move for Leicester City full-back Ricardo Pereira, says Het Nieuwsblad.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane deserved to win this year's Ballon d'Or, according to former Manchester City and Barcelona star Yaya Toure.

Lionel Messi scooped a record sixth Ballon d'Or earlier in December, edging out Mane's club-mate Virgil van Dijk.

However, Toure believes Mane - who scored 26 goals in all competitions last term as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League and won the Champions League - should have claimed the prize.

"To be honest he deserved to win the Ballon d'Or. In Africa we don't see any better players than him," Toure told reporters in Doha, where he is a guest of FIFA at the Club World Cup.

"Did you see the votes, did you see what he did in the last year, how many goals he scored, what he achieved with Liverpool?

"For me it is a shame when a team wins this trophy (the Champions League) and the winner of the Ballon d'Or is not coming from there."

Liverpool currently hold a 10-point advantage over Leicester City at the top of the Premier League and are 14 points clear of third-place Manchester City, and Toure acknowledged the Reds - who are unbeaten in the league - would be worthy champions.

"Liverpool are great, they are doing very well and they deserve their position at the moment," he said.

"There is a long way to go but Liverpool are a good side and they look much stronger than last year. The way I see City is their form this year has been quite complicated but, 10 points in front, Liverpool have a good, good chance.

"When you see the league today there are a few teams who are quite disappointing, like Arsenal and a couple of others, but Liverpool have the chance to have the honours this year."

Having overcome Monterrey 2-1 on Wednesday, Liverpool face Flamengo on Saturday in the Club World Cup final.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at Manchester United on December 19, 2018, and despite his credentials having at times come under question, the Red Devils' points record makes for surprising reading. 

United having taken a total of 65 Premier League points in the 365 days the Norwegian has been in charge, behind only Leicester City, who are flying under Brendan Rodgers, Manchester City and league leaders Liverpool.

An immediate upturn in form following Mourinho's sacking saw United win their first six Premier League matches under Solskjaer, and they went unbeaten in the top flight until a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on March 10 - a run of 12 games.

United's fine league form and progression past Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League saw Solskjaer handed the job on a permanent basis on March 28, though their form immediately dropped off.

Since his appointment as full-time manager, Solskjaer has overseen just eight wins in the Premier League, though recently masterminded victories over Tottenham and City.

United's tally of 65 is bettered only by Leicester (69), Man City (89) and Liverpool (101), who are enjoying a spectacular 2019 under Jurgen Klopp.

Chelsea are only one point behind United's total, while Tottenham sit a further seven back on 58 along with their north-London rivals Arsenal, who look set to appoint Mikel Arteta as Unai Emery's replacement, the Gunners winning just one of their last nine league games.

Andreas Pereira admits Manchester United are "desperate" to win a trophy this season and prove progress has been made under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Pereira helped United reach the EFL Cup semi-finals on Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over Colchester United at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils won that competition, along with the Europa League, in Jose Mourinho's first season in charge in 2016-17, but they have not lifted a trophy since.

With United already 24 points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League, the cup competitions once more represent their best chances of winning a first piece of silverware since Solskjaer took charge.

Pereira says the drive for success within the squad, particularly those players to progress from United's academy, is burning strongly this season as they look to show how they have improved since Solskjaer replaced Mourinho.

"We are desperate to get a trophy," he said. "Everybody at the academy is raised to win trophies.

"We have been winning trophies since the academy days and we want to do it now with the first team.

"We have evolved a lot. Mentally we are more patient, we work for each other more and more and we have more confidence on the pitch

"It is all the United way we play, on the counter-attack. We are very direct and the manager's played a massive part in that. Hopefully, we can keep that going and he can stay for many, many more years.

"We have to keep it going and keep this form."

Standing in United's way in the last four of the EFL Cup are holders Manchester City, whose last defeat in the competition came against United at Old Trafford in 2016.

United won 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in the league this month and Pereira says they will approach the two-legged tie with no fear.

"It's a good game," he said. "We are up for it. We know it is difficult. Derbies are always special.

"We will never fear it, but the last game, we won, and now we have to look at it from a different perspective.

"It is a new game, a semi-final and they will come with something new because they know for sure they lost last time and they will do something different.

"We will prepare like we did last time and hopefully win."

Arsenal have postponed a Thursday news conference amid reports Mikel Arteta is set to be appointed as the club's new boss.

The Gunners were due to hold a media briefing to preview Saturday's Premier League clash at Everton, who themselves are reportedly close to having a new man in the dugout in the form of Carlo Ancelotti.

However, Arsenal confirmed the conference would be put back a day to Friday with a time to be announced later on Thursday.

It comes at a time where Arsenal look certain to install former midfielder Arteta as the successor to Unai Emery, who was sacked as head coach last month.

Arteta has spent the past three years working as assistant to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and was on the sidelines in their 3-1 EFL Cup quarter-final victory over Oxford United on Wednesday.

City and Arsenal are thought still to be locked in negotiations over compensation for Arteta.

Arsenal find themselves languishing in 10th place after 17 Premier League games, some seven points off the top four and 27 adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Jose Mourinho looks set to play the waiting game at Tottenham despite the looming threat of key player departures.

According to reports, Mourinho will not be spooked into a January spending spree even as Spurs consider selling out-of-contract stars to Premier League rivals.

The head coach does, however, have two England Under-19 internationals in his sights.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO TREATING TRANSFERS WITH CAUTION

Tottenham will make transfer funds available in January but Mourinho is set to put his squad overhaul on hold, according to the Daily Mail.

Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen can all walk out on the club at the end of the season and chairman Daniel Levy has said he is prepared to make deals with other Premier League teams.

The state of flux has reportedly motivated Mourinho to leave his rebuilding efforts until the campaign is complete, although the former Manchester United and Real Madrid boss remains open to sensible short-term spending.

Spurs are said to have scouted Norwich City right-back Max Aarons and West Brom's Nathan Ferguson as they look for a challenger to Serge Aurier.

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool should announce the capture of Salzburg winger Takumi Minamino before the weekend, writes the the Independent.

- Mikel Arteta appears set to take charge of Arsenal and Manchester City, where he has worked as an assistant since 2016, are "furious" with the Gunners' lack of communication, according to The Guardian.

- Managerial movements are happening elsewhere in the Premier League. The Mirror claims ex-Milan and Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal worth £11.5million per season with Everton.

- Europe's top clubs are monitoring Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Marquinhos amid a breakdown in negotiations over a contract extension with the Ligue 1 leaders, says Le 10 Sport.

- Bayern Munich are now considering whether to bring forward their planned close-season bid for Leroy Sane after the City winger expressed a desire to join the Bundesliga giants in January, reports Bild.

- Fenerbahce have expressed interest in rumoured Napoli and Schalke target Ricardo Rodriguez, claims CalcioMercato. The Switzerland left-back has started four times for Milan in Serie A this season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer labelled Manchester City "the best team in England" after Manchester United were drawn to face their rivals in the EFL Cup semi-finals.

Manchester United claimed a 3-0 win over Colchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday to get through their last-eight meeting.

Solskjaer's men recorded an upset derby victory over City in the Premier League earlier this month and the teams will meet again across two legs in January.

The Norwegian said Pep Guardiola's men, who have won back-to-back Premier League titles but are off the pace this season, were England's best.

"[They will be] fantastic days in Manchester. They're the best team in England and we're confident going into the semi-final," Solskjaer said.

"Of course, we do really respect them and, as I said after the derby last time, in my opinion, they are the best team in England.

"They can out-football you so we need to get our game heads on and be ready for them again.

"But we've shown them that we can cause them problems. I think they will be two fantastic games."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he had no update on Mikel Arteta's future after a 3-1 EFL Cup win over Oxford United on Wednesday.

Raheem Sterling scored a brace to go with Joao Cancelo's opener at Kassam Stadium as City reached the semi-finals, where rivals Manchester United await.

But much of the focus still centres around assistant Arteta, who is reportedly set to take over as Arsenal head coach.

However, speaking at his post-match news conference, Guardiola said he had nothing to add regarding his fellow Spaniard.

"He has been with us for three and a half seasons so no changes, I don't have any news so we prepared the game as best as possible," he said.

"I don't have to say anything more until new news, when there is new news, in my next conference when you ask me something I will answer."

Oxford and City met in the EFL Cup for the second straight season, and Guardiola's men were once again too strong for the League One side.

But the City boss paid tribute to Karl Robinson's team after a hard-fought victory.

"With the ball they were brilliant and without the ball they defended tough situations with fast players, tall players and they did it really well," Guardiola said.

"I'm very pleased for him and I congratulated him because they were extraordinary."

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