arsenal-man-insists-he-is-“happy”-at-the-club-despite-barcelona-links

Mikel Arteta has reiterated that he is ‘happy’ as Arsenal manager, amid reports that Barcelona are keen on making him their new boss in the future.

Spanish outlet SPORT claimed on Tuesday that Barcelona see Arteta as a ‘future coaching option’ at the club, if they were to replace Xavi Hernandez.

The Spanish giants have been knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage for a second consecutive season.

As per Goal, the club reportedly faces losses of €20 million as a result – a figure made even more significant by Barca’s current financial crisis.

That could lead them to decide to replace Xavi at the helm.

However, SPORT claim that the plan is for the club legend to remain in charge ‘for many years’, meaning the interest in Arteta, who came through the Barcelona youth academy, isn’t hugely relevant at this stage.

But it is added that the Gunners boss shares a good relationship with Barca director of football Mateu Alemany and sporting advisor Jordi Cruyff, and is admired at the club over his results at Arsenal and ability to manage a dressing room.

Despite the links, however, Arteta insists that he is happy where he is.

Mikel Arteta on Barcelona links

Speaking prior to Arsenal’s Europa League clash against Zurich on Thursday, Arteta told a press conference: “What I can say is I am happy and proud to be where I am.

“I think that Barcelona are now on a really good path, I think they have a phenomenal coach – a coach that has been an absolute legend around the club, and has lifted the whole place. I think you have to be very respectful of that.”

This season, Arteta has guided his side to the top of the Premier League table, where they are two points ahead of second-placed Manchester City after 12 games.

They also have four wins out of five in the Europa League this term, with the 2-0 defeat to PSV last Thursday the only blot on an otherwise exemplary copybook.

Arsenal fans will hope the Spaniard is in charge of their club for many years to come as he continues his attempts to re-position the Gunners as one of the best sides on the planet.