Football chief ‘tried to move heaven and earth’ to appoint Mikel Arteta before Arsenal swooped in

Former Everton chief Marcel Brands has revealed he ‘moved heaven and earth’ to try and bring Mikel Arteta to Goodison Park as manager.

The Spaniard is now one of the top coaches in world football having taken charge of Arsenal and seeing them into top spot in the Premier League this term.

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Arteta is flying high at Arsenal, but things could have been very differentCredit: Getty

His role in north London is his first as a head coach, however that big break could have come at another of his former clubs after he was nearly poached in December 2019 when working as Pep Guardiola’s number two at Manchester City.

Speaking to Dutch outlet SoccerNews, Everton’s ex-director of football Brands said: “I moved heaven and earth to bring Arteta to Everton.

“He is also a former player of course. I spent the entire evening at his house and I saw him as the ideal man for us.

“I immediately saw a top trainer.

“At the time he was still an assistant to Pep Guardiola and he was busy with other things. But you saw that he was becoming a top trainer. I only heard positive things.

“Also within the club Everton. Then I was at his house to sound him out and I got so excited. So well prepared, and that passion came out everywhere.

“His mouth, his nose and his ears. I thought this is the trainer, but for the long term.”

Arteta ended up getting his job at Arsenal later that month, with David Moyes later targeted for a return of his own to Goodison Park.

Arteta was working at Guardiola's number two when Everton tried to bring him in

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Arteta was working at Guardiola’s number two when Everton tried to bring him inCredit: getty
He is still remembered fondly by Everton fans following his six-year spell as a player

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He is still remembered fondly by Everton fans following his six-year spell as a player
Ancelotti ended up being the man named as Everton boss

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Ancelotti ended up being the man named as Everton bossCredit: Getty

But in an interview of his own, the now-West Ham boss said that the sudden availability of Carlo Ancelotti – who eventually took the job a day after Arteta’s Arsenal appointment – was what ended the Toffees’ interest in the Scotsman.

“When I was being offered the West Ham job, I had actually been in Germany with Farhad Moshiri to take the Everton job,” Moyes told beinSPORTS.

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“The phone rang, and it was David Sullivan – in the middle of the meeting with Everton.

“I had to say, ‘I can’t speak just now’. But Carlo Ancelotti was sacked by Napoli that night, and they changed tack, even though I was due to sign the day before – I had told David.

“But the next day Everton didn’t make more contact, so I phoned David and said, ‘If it’s still there’, and it couldn’t have gone better – it was the right choice.”

Ancelotti spent 18 months at Everton before earning a return to Spanish giants Real Madrid in the summer of 2021 where he’s still working as head coach.

Meanwhile Moyes is still in charge at West Ham having guided them to the Europa Conference League title last season.



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