Pep Guardiola has given a glowing reference to Mikel Arteta amid speculation the Manchester City coach could become Arsenal's next manager.
Arsene Wenger will step down to conclude a near 22-year tenure at Emirates Stadium at the end of this season and a host of names have been linked to becoming his successor.
One to have emerged from the pack over recent days is Arteta, who finished his playing days with the Gunners two years ago to join Guardiola's backroom team at City.
The former Everton player's work on the training ground with key members of the City squad, most notably Raheem Sterling, has been cited previously by Guardiola as a factor in City's Premier League triumph and he has no doubt over the 36-year-old's abilities.
"I'm not the right guy to talk about that because my opinion about Mikel is overwhelming," he told a news conference ahead of City's Premier League trip to West Ham on Sunday.
"He deserves the best. We are so comfortable working with him.
"One of the reasons for our success this season is because Mikel is here."
Guardiola's fellow ex-Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique is the bookmakers' favourite to make Arsenal his next club and the City boss believes his old team-mate's credentials speak for themselves.
"He is an excellent, amazing manager," he said.
"He can train wherever he wants and of course Arsenal are one of the biggest clubs in the world."
Guardiola added: "I know there are many, many names for the next period after Wenger at Arsenal but I don't know the plans for Arsenal.
"Of course, Luis Enrique and Mikel deserve all the best and all they want."
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