Arteta answers speculation he could become next Barcelona boss

Date published: Wednesday 3rd March 2021 11:05 - Samuel Bannister

Mikel Arteta has pledged his future to Arsenal despite rumours that he is a candidate to become the next Barcelona manager.

Reports in Spain at the start of the week claimed presidential candidate Joan Laporta is eyeing Gunners boss Arteta if he wins the race to return to Barca.

During his previous spell in the role, Laporta appointed Pep Guardiola as the head coach and ushered in an era of great success.

Arteta went on to work under Guardiola at Manchester City and took over as Arsenal manager in December 2019.

Having come through Barca’s La Masia academy, Arteta is now apparently on a managerial shortlist for Laporta, should he win the election on March 7. Although, sources close to the campaign have reportedly distanced themselves from a move for the 38-year-old.

“There is always going to be speculation when there are elections in Barcelona. It’s a huge team,” said Arteta.

“Obviously I was raised there as a player and there is always going to be links. But I am fully focused to the job that I have to do here, which we have a lot to do, and I am really enjoying it.

“What I can tell you is I feel privileged to manage this football club and that I’m extremely happy.”

Arteta won the FA Cup and Community Shield during his first year in charge at the Emirates Stadium. His job title changed from head coach to manager during a reshuffle of the executive team in September.

Arteta yet to discuss contract

The positional change did not include a new contract for Arteta, whose Arsenal side currently sit 10th in the Premier League. His current deal runs until 2023.

Asked if he had had talks over fresh terms recently, the Spaniard replied: “No.

“We are in the middle of the season. We have a lot to play for and at the moment it is not a priority.

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“I think that’s okay. I still have a contract here, I am happy here and I don’t think it is something urgent.

“Today and tomorrow I am the manager of Arsenal football club and I am really enjoying it. And I want to do much better than what we have done.”

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