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Mikel Arteta slams reports linking him to Barcelona

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Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta slams reports linking him to Barcelona. Photo/ Paddy Power News.
  • Mikel Arteta has slammed reports linking him to FC Barcelona saying they are “totally untrue”
  • This is not the first time that Arteta has been linked to Barcelona, but the Basque has made it clear that he has no intentions of leaving Arsenal

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has slammed reports linking him to FC Barcelona saying they are “totally untrue”. Reports in Spain had suggested that Arteta intends to step down from his job as Arsenal manager and replace Xavi Hernandez at Barcelona.

Speaking at managers press conference on Monday, Arteta said that he was upset about the reports going around. The Spanish manager feels that he is at the right place and has a strong relationship with Arsenal’s board. He is contracted to the Gunners until the summer of 2025.

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta’s current contract with Arsenal expires in 2025. Photo/ beIN SPORTS.

Who, me? No. That is totally fake news. What you read, I’m really upset about it. I couldn’t believe it. It has no sources. I’m in the right place with the right people and feel really good about it. I’m embracing a beautiful journey with this club and there’s still a lot to do. I have a strong relationship with the board. Things come in a natural way. When the time is right we will have those [contract] discussions and find the best way to deal with it.” Mikel Arteta is quoted by BBC Sports

This is not the first time that Arteta has been linked to Barcelona, but the Basque has made it clear that he is currently focused on Arsenal’s project.

Arteta went through Barcelona’s famed academy La Masia but never played a competitive game for the senior team. He spent one season on loan at Paris Saint-Germain before before joining Scottish club Rangers on a permanent deal. He would later play for Real Sociedad, Everton and eventually Arsenal.

After ending his playing career, Mikel Arteta began his managerial career at Manchester City where he was a member of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff. The former midfielder returned to Arsenal as a manager in December 2019 and guided the club to an eight-place finish in the Premier League and triumph in the FA Cup.

As a result, he was named Arsenal’s permanent manager in September 2020. The 41-year-old led Arsenal to a second place finish in the Premier League last season, hence qualifying for the Champions League. The Gunners are currently third on Premier League standings, three points behind leaders Liverpool.

With the immense job Arteta has done at Arsenal, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Barcelona are interested in him. The Catalan club are now searching for a new manager to replace Xavi, who announced that he will be leaving at the end of this season.

Barca, who won the La Liga last campaign, have been far from their best this season in domestic competitions. Xavi began feeling the heat after Barca lost 4-1 to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final two weeks ago.

Rumours began circulating that he had lost the dressing room due to Barca’s poor form but he would respond by saying that he would pack his bags if the players stop believing in him.

Xavi Hernandez

Xavi Hernandez announced on Saturday after Barcelona’s defeat to Villareal that he will not continue managing the Catalans beyond 30 June this year. Photo/ Forbes.

After being knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao in midweek and losing to Villareal on Saturday, Xavi announced that he will step down from his position as Barcelona’s manager.

“I would like to announce that I will not remain Barça manager beyond the end of this season. I had decided to leave a few days ago, but I think now is the right time to announce it to help reduce the tension that exists around the club. A change of dynamic is needed.” Xavi said in a news conference on Saturday, as per ESPN.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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