Kevin de Bruyne says Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta will have the blessing of the players if he opts to leave the club to take over at Arsenal.
The former Gunners midfielder has been linked with a move to the Emirates since the dismissal of his countryman Unai Emery.
Freddie Ljungberg has taken over on an interim basis but, with Sunday’s 3-0 thrashing at the hands of City as the latest example, has done little to prevent Arsenal from falling further down the Premier League table.
Arsenal’s managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, and director of football operations, Huss Fahmy, were pictured leaving Arteta’s home in Manchester in the early hours of Monday morning, although Manchester City were left completely in the dark as the Gunners failed to mention any interest in the Spaniard during Sunday’s match.
Arteta was at training on Monday and is expected to help continue preparations for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Oxford United.
But, should he make the move to London to take over at Arsenal, De Bruyne insists that those at Manchester City will wish him the best.
“He came here three years ago, and had to find his way a little bit, because to transition from player to coach is a little bit different,” said the Belgian midfielder.
“He is finding his role really, really good right now. I guess one day he will want to be a head coach – I don’t know when but he’s helping the team in the way he thinks he can help, and is doing a good job.”
De Bruyne added: “He is helping us a lot, but if he gets a good opportunity to be a head coach, and he thinks it’s time for him to take that, I think as a club you need to let somebody go.
“You want to grow as a head coach, I guess. If he doesn’t, it’s his decision, but why, otherwise, start coaching in that way?
“It’s difficult for me to explain. Whatever he wants to do, you have to do it – if you want to grow you need to take opportunities when they come.”
Following Wednesday’s Carabao Cup match, Manchester City are set to face Leicester in a battle of title hopefuls with the two clubs looking up at league-leaders Liverpool.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are set to face another team on the hunt for a manager on Saturday as they take on Everton, although Carlo Ancelotti appears close to sealing a deal to take over at Goodison Park.