Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand has warned Arsenal that he has “heard” Mikel Arteta will soon leave the club as he is “looking” to join a European giant.
Arteta has rightly been lauded for his work as Arsenal’s head coach over the past couple of seasons.
The Gunners have taken huge strides forward under the Spaniard, who is leading their charge for the Premier League title this season.
The ex-Man City assistant has previously lifted the FA Cup as Arsenal boss and his achievements this season have understandably caught the attention of clubs around Europe.
Arteta’s departure could come sooner than expected, if Ferdinand is to be believed. He has indicated that Real Madrid are keen to bring him in as a replacement for Carlo Ancelotti amid reports linking the ex-Chelsea and Everton boss with the vacant Brazil manager’s job.
“You’ve got to keep Arteta, first and foremost,” the Man Utd legend said via his Vibe with Five podcast.
“I heard something… I heard that Real Madrid (are interested) and when they come knocking your players will be coachless.
“I heard Ancelotti, Don Carlo, the eyebrow, he might be getting off, and that Arteta is looking to go to Real Madrid.
“That’s the rumour on the streets. The streets are talking.”
Arsenal have dropped points against Liverpool and West Ham in recent games. This leaves them just four points clear of second-placed Man City and their rivals have played a game less.
Club legend Emmanuel Petit thinks Arsenal have been punished for not rotating enough.
“Recently yes. I think it was the same against Liverpool. He took some time to make substitutions and some players should have been involved earlier,” Petit told legalsportsbooks.
“The likes of Trossard for example, who I think has been brilliant since he signed for Arsenal. He has his first XI in his mind and he wants to stay with them until the end because he thinks they have been unbelievable since the beginning of the season.
“He’s probably thinking, ‘Why should I change them?’ Because they were winning game after game? I can understand, but in the meantime, as he’s such a young manager, maybe he has to learn as well from that.”
On Arsenal’s interest in Declan Rice, Petit added: “Rice would be important to Arsenal.
“If he wants to play at the top level, with all due respect to West Ham, I think it’s time for him to leave the club. He has been linked with different clubs in England but if I was Rice I would go and play for Arsenal.
“If Arsenal want to stay at the top next season, Rice would be an important signing. But they need more players as well.”