‘Angry’ Arteta dismisses links to Barcelona job

Mikel Arteta has dismissed reports linking him with a move to Barcelona this summer, reiterating his commitment to Arsenal.

Reports in Spain have suggested the Gunners boss intends to leave the Emirates Stadium at the end of the season, with a number of outlets in Spain linking him to the Barcelona job after Xavi announced he would be stepping down as head coach at the Nou Camp in the summer.

Spanish publication Diario Sport reported the Spaniard had informed his entourage that he was open to exiting the Emirates following the conclusion of the current campaign, amid ongoing links to the post at Barcelona.

However, Sky Sports News reported Arteta had no plans to leave the club and, speaking at his press conference on Monday, he insisted he is in the “right place” ahead of his side’s trip to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports’ Gary Cotterill speaks to The Mirror’s Chief Football Writer, John Cross, about Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta’s reaction to speculation over whether the manager would leave the club in the summer for Barcelona.

When asked if he was leaving Arsenal in the summer, Arteta replied: “No. That’s totally fake news,

“I don’t know where it is coming from, it’s totally untrue and I’m very upset about it.

“I could not believe it. It has no sources. You have to be cautious when you write things in the way it was yesterday.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League

He added: “I’m in the right place and I feel good about it. I’m embracing a journey with this club and there’s a long way still to go. I have a strong relationship with the board.

“Things come in a natural way. When the time is right we will have those [contract] discussions and find the best way to deal with it.

“I’m cautious when I talk publicly about my personal things. I don’t think anyone deserves to hear that in news like that. I have always been straight and said the opposite. I’m so happy where I am now.”

Arteta is contracted to Arsenal until the summer of 2025 but the Spaniard admitted no talks have taken place over a new deal in north London.

Mikel Arteta celebrates Arsenal's stoppage time winner
Image:
Arteta is under contract with Arsenal until the summer of 2025

“I’ve got a strong relationship with the board, with Edu, the team, with ownership,” he said. “Things come in a natural way and we’ve always done it that way and it’s been done really well.

“When the time is right we’ll have those discussions and I’ll think about the best way to do that.

When asked directly if any discussions over a new deal have taken place, he added:No, we haven’t, but this is something that would happen naturally when it has to happen, if it has to happen, and that’s it.”

Could Arteta manage another English club?

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta on whether he could ever see himself managing another Premier League club:

“Today, no! But I don’t know. I played for two great clubs in this country, I moved around in different things, I’m extremely young and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

‘Still work to do at Arsenal’

Leandro Trossard is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring Arsenal's third goal against Crystal Palace
Image:
Leandro Trossard is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring for Arsenal against Crystal Palace

Arteta, 41, replaced Unai Emery at Arsenal, taking a senior managerial role for the first time in his career.

Before taking the job, Arteta had been working as a member of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City, a role he took up upon retiring from playing in the summer of 2016.

In September 2020, having guided Arsenal to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League and an FA Cup win in the previous season, Arteta was made first-team manager of the north London club having previously gone by the title as head coach.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

A look back at some of the most unusual metaphors Arteta has used to describe his Arsenal team

As a player, he won the FA Cup twice in a five-year career with the Gunners. The former midfielder made 150 appearances for Arsenal between 2011 and 2016 and captained the side.

As a manager to date, he has won 124 of his 210 matches as Arsenal boss and he insists there is still a lot of work to do at the club.

“There is a lot to do here and we all share that ambition,” he said.

“We want more, we aren’t satisfied and the club wants another push to go to another level. We have everyone on board to achieve it.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Speaking on the Transfer Talk podcast, David Ornstein says it will remain a quiet transfer window for Arsenal given they are close to their FFP limit, but a striker in the summer may well be in Arteta’s plans

“I always felt it was my team because when you take a decision to coach or manage a club you have to make those calls and maximise everything.

“My job became more normal after the Covid situation and I’m enjoying it a lot.

“We are on the right track but we are very far from my vision of where this club needs to be. We navigated some difficult moments through Covid and my belief is that created a really strong attachment and belief that we are the right people to take the club forward. We used it in the right way.”

Partey not in Arsenal squad to face Forest | Arteta ‘hopeful’ on Rice fitness

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on injury news ahead of trip to Nottingham Forest:

“We have some late decisions to make.

“Thomas [Partey] won’t be one of those. Thomas will not be in the squad.

“We had some issues at the end of the last game so we will assess those players. You want everyone in the squad.

“[Declan] Rice is one of those players. He has done some work but he has missed some work as well. Hopefully he will be ok. Gabriel [Magalhaes] is another one.”

Follow the January transfer window

The winter transfer window is open and will close at 11pm in England and 11.30pm in Scotland on Thursday February 1.

To ensure harmonisation with the major leagues in Europe, the closing dates were set following discussions with the EFL, DFL, Serie A, LaLiga, and LFP, who will all close their summer and winter windows on September 1 and February 1 respectively.

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms, while you can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News, including daily transfer shows, and listen to our Transfer Talk podcast.