Speculation linked Pep Guardiola with a summer exit from Manchester City, and now his right-hand man is linked with a move away.
Much has been said about Manchester City's treble-winning achievements this season, but the fact it was made possible after Pep Guardiola had to make a huge backroom re-shuffle last summer makes it all the more remarkable.
But there was one notable difference behind the scenes after Guardiola's long-term number-two Domenec Torrent did not sit beside him for the first time in 12 years.
Torrent worked alongside Guardiola from their time coaching Barcelona B but left last summer to take up the head coach role at New York City FC.
Losing such a huge figure in Guardiola's career could have disrupted his momentum, but Mikel Arteta stepped up seamlessly as the Cityzens continued to win trophies.
Arteta is hardly a neglected hero, but it's easy to concentrate on other cogs in the unstoppable Manchester City machine.
It is no wonder that Guardiola makes a point of praising his backroom staff whenever he wins an individual award or City lift another trophy.
So Guardiola could have been excused for taking a second look yesterday at the news that Arteta was chosen for the vacant manager's role at Middlesbrough.
Those rumours were immediately dismissed by both City and Boro, but it's hardly a shock to see Arteta linked with a formidable club like Boro.
Lots of aspiring EPL clubs are finding success in using talented assistant coaches from bigger clubs, and Arteta is reasonably one of the most talented around.
So in a summer where there could be more incomings and outgoings in the playing squad, it is crucial that Guardiola maintains consistency behind the scenes and keeps Arteta at the club.
Vincent Kompany's influence has already left the dressing room, while Fabian Delph, Leroy Sane, Nicolas Otamendi and Ilkay Gundogan are linked with an exodus. These are players who are familiar with the demands required by Guardiola and the club and won't be easy to replace.
If any of those characters leave, Arteta could be needed more than ever next season to get Guardiola's message across while sharing his experience to new players.
Arteta may not be heading to Middlesbrough, but Pep must ensure he doesn't go anywhere.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 years ago