Mikel Arteta pushes back against Barcelona manager’s job links

Mikel Arteta has strongly rebuffed rumours linking him to Barcelona, saying “that’s totally fake news.”

A Spanish newspaper report claimed that Arteta had told backroom staff that he would be heading to Barcelona in the summer after current head coach Xavi announced he would step down from his role at the end of the season, citing a change in dynamic being needed for the Spanish giants.

This is not the first time Arteta has been linked to the job, but this was the most adamant the Arsenal manager has been in response.

“What you read yesterday, I don’t know where it’s coming from, and it’s totally untrue. I’m really upset about it,” he said on Monday.

“I could not believe it. I don’t know where it’s coming from, it has no source and I think we have to be very cautious when we talk about personal things to put it in the way it was put yesterday.

“I’m in the right place with the right people, and I feel really good about it. As I said many times, I’m on a beautiful journey with this football club: our players, our staff and our people and there is still a lot to do.”

Arteta’s existing contract at Arsenal expires in 2025, at the end of the next season, and asked whether talks about an extension have begun, he said: “No we haven’t, but this is something that would happen naturally when it has to happen.

“I’ve got a strong relationship with the board, Edu and the ownership. Things come in a natural way. When the time is right, we will have those discussions.

“There is a lot to do here. We all share that ambition and you can feel that we want more, that we’re not satisfied and the club wants to take another push in everything we are doing. This is where we are and we need everybody on board to achieve it and I’m certainly on board.”


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(Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

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