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Arsenal boss Arteta would have replaced Guardiola at Man City.

Mikel Arteta was part of Pep Guardiola's coaching staff from 2016 to 2019, winning major trophies at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola believes his former assistant Mikel Arteta would've been his successor at Manchester City had he declined the Arsenal job back in 2019.

Arteta was once part of Guardiola's coaching staff at the Etihad for three full seasons. Together at Man City, they won the Premier League twice, the FA Cup, and two League Cups.

Eventually, Arteta left for pastures new in December 2019 and has since elevated Arsenal into Premier League title contenders, currently sitting at the summit.

Speaking ahead of Man City's FA Cup fourth-round clash at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola admitted Arteta had a positive influence on him in the past.

"I had the feeling, we knew it when he was here, (about) his ability for City," said Guardiola on Thursday.

"I don't know my part on him but his influence on me was great, massive, so important in becoming a better manager.

"If I had left, Mikel would be here and he would be the best, absolutely."

The 52-year-old continued in his press conference: "I am not a guy to say, 'no, you have to stay with me'," added Guardiola. "Everyone has dreams. We felt if one team could offer him (the chance) to be the manager he would leave.

"I know he went to 'his' club, the team he dreams of. He's a supporter, for the fact he played there, he was a captain there. He loves the club.

"I remember when we were together, here, when we scored goals, he'd jump a lot and celebrate - except against one team, Arsenal.

"People have to fly when they believe it is the best. Life is too short. Spend time in a place you believe suits you better."

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