Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Mikel Arteta has all the qualities needed to manage the club.
Arsenal held talks with Arteta on Thursday about becoming their new manager, Sky Sports News understands.
The Spaniard is the leading candidate to succeed Wenger and if appointed, he would be handed a transfer budget in the region of £50m this summer.
The Arsenal executives, who are responsible for choosing the new manager, are also understood to have held talks on Thursday.
Wenger has backed his former captain to replace him in the Emirates Stadium dugout, telling beIN Sports: “He has all the qualities to do the job, yes and I think as well he is one of the favourites.
“He was a leader, and he has a good passion for the game and he knows the club well, he knows what is important at the club and he was captain of the club. Why not?”
Arteta has only served as a coach at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola so far, but Wenger insists that Arsenal have experienced coaching personnel to guide the Spanish manager if he needs it.
Wenger continued: “I left a lot of experience behind me, people who were with me like Steve Bould who has six years experience, and Jens Lehmann too.
“He has been an assistant of Guardiola as well, so overall I think he has the qualities.”
Wenger made clear that his support for Arteta, who played 162 times for the Gunners, should not be used to sway the decision of the Arsenal hierarchy, insisting that he will support whoever is chosen as his replacement.
He added: “I don’t want to influence that publicly because for me I believe it is important that they make their choice in an objective way and after once they make a decision I will support them.”