Premier League • England

Mikel Arteta Arsenal exit talk ramps up as Euro titans settle on 41y/o as ‘next manager’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal could soon be forced to deal with an approach for manager Mikel Arteta, as one of the world’s biggest clubs has reportedly landed on him as a top target.

Arteta spent time as Manchester City’s assistant manager before taking over at Arsenal in December 2019. The Spaniard has worked tirelessly to turn Arsenal into genuine title contenders, and they nearly won the Premier League trophy for the first time since 2003-04 last season.

The Gunners held top spot for much of the campaign, but they eventually fell behind Pep Guardiola’s winning machine, and City were ultimately crowned champions for the third time in a row.

Arsenal have not been quite as efficient this term, as they sit in fourth spot on 40 points after winning 12 of their 20 games thus far. Although, they are still in the mix for the title, as they are only five points behind leaders Liverpool.

The Arsenal hierarchy will also be hoping that Arteta can add some major silverware to the trophy cabinet for the first time since their 2020 FA Cup triumph. Arsenal remain in the Champions League and will come up against Porto in the round of 16. Although, they have been knocked out of both the FA Cup and League Cup in recent months.

In a major blow for Arsenal, it seems rival clubs are starting to eye up Arteta after being left impressed by the work he has done at the Emirates.

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According to Barcelona reporter Adrian Sanchez, the Spanish giants are planning to move for Arteta in case they sack current boss Xavi. It is even claimed that Barcelona president Joan Laporta views the 41-year-old as the club’s ‘next manager’.

Xavi has come under pressure at the Nou Camp this season, despite the huge respect and admiration the fans have for him. The Blaugrana sit fourth in La Liga, eight points behind surprise leaders Girona with a game in hand.

Key Arsenal man emerges as Barcelona objective – report

Barca remain in the Champions League and Spanish cup, and will face Napoli and Unionistas in those competitions respectively, though they blew their chance at Spanish super cup glory on Sunday. Vinicius Junior netted a hat-trick as Real Madrid eased to a 4-1 victory – their third straight win in El Clasico.

The fact Xavi is a Barca legend should buy him some time to turn things around and potentially get the team seriously challenging for the league title. But if Barca end the season trophyless then they might opt to make a switch, and Arteta is their ideal man to take up the hot seat.

Luckily for Arsenal fans, it does not look like Arteta will actively push to join Barca, even though his contract in North London expires in June 2025.

When asked about Arteta’s future recently, Fabrizio Romano said: “Some fans have been asking me about Mikel Arteta having just 18 months left on his contract – at the moment Arsenal’s priority is to focus on the January window and getting better results on the pitch as soon as possible.

“There is no news on Arteta, but they’re not in a rush, they are very happy together. Arteta loves Arsenal and the club is very happy with him, so there’s no rush, all parties are relaxed.”

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