Unai Emery once called up Mikel Arteta after taking his job from him at Arsenal – and offered him his house.
The Gunners boss took over from the Spaniard a month after Emery had been sacked back in November 2019.
Freddie Ljungberg was in charge on an interim basis for around four weeks before Arteta was given the reins.
The former Everton and Arsenal midfielder was the hot favourite to land the job back in the summer of 2018.
But Emery wowed Emirates chiefs in a late interview that saw him steal ahead of Arteta for the position but it was not meant to be.
However, the now-Villarreal boss, who faces his former club on Thursday night in the Europa League, has no animosity towards Arteta – who is from the same are of Spain.
In fact, Emery actually offered the 39-year-old his old home and spoke frankly about his admiration for the ex-Manchester City coach.
“Well it was a common friend that interceded and he was okay to speak to me, had nothing against it and it was good for me too as I had to leave my home in London,” said Emery.
“Maybe the house would be interesting for him, so maybe he would be interested to see the house?
“So apart from talking about my job at Arsenal and football, I suggested he take over my house.
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"Finally, I think it was a player who took it in the end. It all came about via a common friend, he spoke to me and to him and the conservation was as a result of that.
“It was a private conversation but it’s OK that it is public the fact that there was a call between him and me.
"We spoke a little bit about what I lived in Arsenal, in a positive way, as I experienced. I just told him about what I had lived through, as two working colleagues.
“Of course I knew Arteta before. He is from Donostia, just like me. We were practically neighbours so I have a lot of admiration for him as a footballer and now as a coach, working with [Pep] Guardiola and Arsenal.
“I just wanted to tell him about my experience there, where I lived when I was there, what I thought could be positive for him.
"Maybe I told him one or two things that could be improved in a naturalistic and personal way. All I feel for him is admiration.”
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