Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne advised Mikel Arteta to consider taking the next step in his coaching career amid reported interest from Arsenal.
The Gunners are said to have held talks with the City assistant in their search for a successor to the sacked Unai Emery.
Arteta, 37, became an understudy to Pep Guardiola in 2016 after retiring from playing at the end of his fifth season with Arsenal.
De Bruyne, who starred when the teams met in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, said City should let Arteta leave if the Spaniard decides he is ready to move.
“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,” De Bruyne told UK media.
“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.”
Arteta has also been linked with the top job at Everton, another of his former clubs,
Earlier this month, Guardiola admitted he hoped Arteta would continue on at City but said he wanted “the best for him.”
De Bruyne added: “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.”