Premier League • England

Xavi sack talk heightens at Barcelona as La Liga giants line up ambitious move for London-based boss

Xavi, Barcelona, October 2022

Arsenal could find themselves in trouble, as Barcelona are reportedly eager to snatch Mikel Arteta for their manager’s job.

After a few years finding his feet in management, Arteta is doing a stellar job at Arsenal. The Spaniard did not get the full backing of fans straight away, as the Gunners finished eighth in both of his first two seasons.

Last campaign, they started woefully. Indeed, after losing their first three league games, and shipping nine goals in the process, things looked rough.

However, they managed to turn things around, and fought for a top-four finish for much of the season. While they missed out on fourth, finishing two points below rivals Tottenham, things were clearly on the up.

There has been a clear improvement this season, too. The Gunners are currently top of the Premier League table, having won 10 of their 12 games.

The faith shown in Arteta has meant that Arsenal have become a legitimate threat again.

The Spaniard has got his side playing good football, and the creative players are thriving with the right encouragement.

The signings Arteta has made have also given Arsenal a big boost in their fortunes. The likes of Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard have been particularly effective.

Arteta attracting attention

Due to his stellar job with Arsenal, Arteta has begun to attract the attention of other clubs. The big name that is apparently courting him is Barcelona.

That is according to a report from Spanish outlet Sport.

The report states that Arteta is ‘a firm candidate’ for the Barcelona managerial job. The good news for Arsenal is that it does not look like they want him to take the job just yet.

Indeed, Sport states it ‘is not for now’ and Barcelona’s ‘clear bet’ is current incumbent Xavi. However, at some point down the line, it seems Barca would be keen on offering Arteta a shot at managing them.

The chance to manage one of the world’s biggest clubs would be tough to pass up for any manager. Not least a Spaniard, who spent time at that very club earlier on in his career.

What’s more, Arteta learned a lot from former Barca boss Pep Guardiola during his time at Manchester City. As such, he might be encouraged to take up the job at Camp Nou if offered.

Xavi under pressure

Despite the fact the report states Barca are happy with Xavi, he might be under some pressure. Indeed, he revealed himself recently that there “will be consequences” if he does not win anything with the squad he has got.

That does not bode well, given Barca have already crashed out of the Champions League.

However, their form in La Liga is little cause for concern at this point. The Blaugrana are currently in second place, just one point behind leaders Real Madrid.

It seems Xavi’s job is safe at the moment. Come the end of the season, though, the outlook could be very different, and Arsenal could be in danger as a result.