Unai Emery tried to get Mikel Arteta to buy his house after Arsenal sacking

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Simon Collings
·2-min read
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 (Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)
(Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

Unai Emery has revealed he offered Mikel Arteta the chance to buy his house as part of a conversation he had with the Spaniard before he replaced him at Arsenal.

Arteta succeeded Emery at Emirates Stadium after the latter was sacked in November 2019 following a poor run of form.

The two are now set to go head to head on Thursday after Arsenal drew Villarreal, who Emery is managing, in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

There is, however, no animosity between the two coaches and in fact Arteta revealed on Wednesday morning Emery rang him before he took the Arsenal job.

Emery offered to give his successor some advice before taking charge, while he even offered Arteta the opportunity to buy his house in London.

“Well it was a common friend that interceded and he was okay to speak to me, had nothing against it and it was good for me too as I had to leave my home in London,” said Emery. “Maybe the house would be interesting for him, so maybe he would be interested to see the house?

“So apart from talking about my job at Arsenal and football, I suggested he take over my house. Finally I think it was a player who took it in the end. It all came about via a common friend, he spoke to me and to him and the conservation was as a result of that.

“It was a private conversation but it’s OK that it is public the fact that there was a call between him and me. We spoke a little bit about what I lived in Arsenal, in a positive way, as I experienced. I just told him about what I had lived through, as two working colleagues.

“Of course I knew Arteta before. He is from Donostia, just like me. We were practically neighbours so I have a lot of admiration for him as a footballer and now as a coach, working with [Pep] Guardiola and Arsenal.

“I just wanted to tell him about my experience there, where I lived when I was there, what I thought could b positive for him. Maybe I told him one or two things that could be improved in a naturalistic and personal way. All I feel for him is admiration.”

Given his sacking by Arsenal, it was thought there could be a desire for Emery to exact revenge on his former club. But, he said: “It is behind me now, it is a closed time for me now. All I can remember, all I have for Arsenal, is that I have to be grateful to them.

“Tomorrow we are facing Arsenal and every team that I have managed, I always keep a piece of my heart for all those teams I have played with or managed. One of those, of course, is Arsenal. But now my heart is Villarreal yellow and I am 100 per cent with Villarreal.”

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