Unai Emery revealed he rang Mikel Arteta to offer him his house after leaving Arsenal, reports mirror.co.uk.
But Emery warned that if Arsenal know what is good for them they should stick with Arteta for the long term and not make him move again.
Villarreal boss Emery will face Arsenal for the first time since being fired in November 2019 and he immediately left London to move back to Spain before Arteta took charge the following month.
Arsenal are two places worse off now in the Premier League table than when they sacked Emery when the club was in eighth position, having lost the Europa League final and narrowly missed out on the top four the previous season.
Arteta knows the Europa League is make-or-break for Arsenal’s chances of getting back into the Champions League next season and defeat to his predecessor will surely raise question marks whether the club is going forward under his management.
For all sorts of reasons, Arteta cannot afford to lose and yet Emery says every manager needs time as he admitted he still has affection for Arsenal despite his difficult 18 month spell in charge.
Emery said: “Apart from talking about football I suggested he take over my house! I think it was a player who took it in the end!
“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.
“I always keep a piece of my heart for all the teams I have played with or managed. One of them is Arsenal but right now my heart is Villarreal yellow and I am 100 percent with them.
“I am convinced that they need to let managers work and to have patience. I know that is very difficult but at Arsenal we needed to be patient.
“They need to trust Arteta and through natural process Arsenal will find the place they deserve and they should be fighting over Champions League spots. It’s a question of patience and confidence. I can see a team that with time and Arteta, they will make it.”
Emery is the Europa League specialist – winning the trophy in three consecutive seasons with Sevilla – and is a formidable hurdle for Arsenal to overcome to reach next month’s final.
But what is harder to understand is why it did not work for an experienced European coach who had just been in charge of Paris Saint Germain. Emery’s struggle to speak good English, to get the players to adapt to his tactics and also following on from a managerial legend.
“I had to come in after Arsene Wenger, we were almost in the Champions League positions that we lost in the end and we lost the Europa League final against Chelsea. The next year we didn’t start too well,” said Emery.
“I think Arteta should build on the improvements that I tried to work on but couldn’t continue. This needs a process that needs time to execute a game plan and find the results.
“With Mikel Arteta what can I say, I think it’s a perfect marriage, Arsenal and Arteta. It’s a great manager. You can see a clear identity, very clear ideas of their game plan, the way they play. I’m sure Arsenal will have been able to grow with him.”