Pep Guardiola has spoken of his sympathy for Unai Emery after the Arsenal boss was sacked but said reports linking his assistant Mikel Arteta with the Emirates job were “not a question for me”.
The Manchester City boss faced Emery when the latter was in charge of Valencia in La Liga, and Guardiola was the manager of Barcelona, as well as crossing swords in the 18 months Emery spent in charge of the Gunners.
Arsenal’s poor form brought Emery’s dismissal on Friday.
“I’m so sorry for him,” said Guardiola, who takes his side to play Newcastle on Saturday. “Every time a manager is sacked it’s not good news, honestly.
“It doesn’t change my opinion about his capacity. He’s an incredible professional, did incredibly well in Spain.
“He won three Europa Leagues in a row with Sevilla, one of the most incredible achievements. He and I know it depends on results. It’s simple but I’m sure he will find a new job soon.”
Emery’s dismissal has seen Guardiola’s assistant Arteta, a former Arsenal player, linked to the job at the London club, although Guardiola commented only briefly.
“He travels to Newcastle. It’s not a question for me,” said the City boss.
Guardiola was speaking at the end of a week in which City were boosted by a $500 million investment from US private equity firm Silver Lake, a move that valued the Premier League champions’ parent company at nearly $5 billion.
The City manager was reluctant to discuss the financial implications of such astonishing financial muscle but he was keen to stress the strength of his working relationship with the club’s owner, Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
“It (the relationship) was good from the beginning, especially in the bad moments of the first season,” he said.
“I’m delighted to work for this club, especially for our chairman…. He’s an incredibly humble person and one of the nicest I’ve ever met.”