Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has downplayed recent rumors linking him with the not-yet vacant job at Barcelona.
Despite the fact Ronald Koeman is still very much the Barcelona manager — not to mention the fact that Arteta has had very little success as Arsenal manager and they currently sit 10th in the Premier League — Arteta, a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy, has emerged as a candidate to replace the Dutchman ahead of this weekend’s presidential election at the Camp Nou.
Arteta went on record on Wednesday, downplaying the links and reaffirming his commitment to Arsenal — quotes from our partners at Sky Sports:
“There is always going to be speculation when there are elections in Barcelona. It’s a huge team and obviously I was raised there as a player, and they’re always going to be linked.
“But I’m fully focused on the job that I have to do here. We have a lot to do and I’m really enjoying it.
“I feel privileged to manage this football club and I’m extremely happy.”
“Today and tomorrow I am the manager of Arsenal Football Club and I’m really enjoying it and I want to do much better than what we’ve done.”
Arteta’s current contract with Arsenal is set to run through the summer of 2023. Asked whether or not he and the club have had any discussions over a new deal, Arteta confirmed that they have not.
“No. We are in the middle of the season, we have a lot to play for and at the moment it’s not a priority. I still have my contract here and I’m happy here, and I don’t think it’s something urgent.”
After a horrid start to the 2020-21 La Liga season (4W-2D-4L in their first 10 games), Barcelona have recovered quite well (12W-3D-0L during their current 15-game unbeaten run) as they currently sit second in La Liga, five points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand. Real Madrid are level on points (53) after 25 games.