Arteta worked as Guardiola’s assistant for almost three years before taking the Gunners job.
On Friday, both men will clash in the FA Cup fourth round clash at the Etihad.
Arteta and Guardiola are also fighting for the title this season, with Arsenal sitting five points clear at the top having played one game more.
But Arteta insists the rivalry will not affect their friendship.
“I always hoped [Arsenal challenging City for trophies] was going to be the case one day and it’s happening this season. That’s not going to change any friendship, how important he is in my life, how important he is in my profession.
“We are both willing to win and defend our clubs in any way and that is always been the case since day one. I would prefer to do it with someone else to be fair,” Arteta said.