Mikel Arteta has sensationally decided to leave Arsenal at the end of the 2023-24 season, according to reports in Spain.
The Gunners head coach has a contract that runs until 2025, but he has told his entourage that he will leave his post at the Emirates Stadium once the current campaign draws to a close, as per SPORT.
This shock update from north London comes following widespread reports linking Arteta with the Barcelona job after Xavi revealed he will be departing his role as Blaugrana head coach this summer.
It’s the third major managerial report in as many days after Jurgen Klopp’s announcement that he will be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season.
The German head coach has enjoyed a glorious spell at Anfield, but he will depart after eight-and-a-half years in charge following his surprise admission on Friday.
Mikel Arteta to join Barcelona?
Arteta is considered to be one of the favourites for the Barcelona job when Xavi leaves this summer and the Arsenal manager is yet to sign a contract extension at the Emirates Stadium.
As a result, he is reportedly eyeing up an exit, as per reports in Spain.
According to SPORT: “The passing of the years and the tensions experienced in recent seasons seem to have also taken their toll on the coach [Arteta].
“The good relationship that he maintains with the ownership of the London club would allow him to agree on a possible consensual exit once the season ends.
“Mikel has already communicated this to his entourage, although at the moment maximum discretion is required while waiting to see how the final stretch of the competition develops.”
If Arteta does end up leaving Arsenal, then a move to Barcelona makes logical sense given his history with the club.
The ex-PSG and Everton midfielder spent time in La Masia as a youngster before making 42 appearances for Barcelona B. He never made a senior appearance for the club’s first-team, however.
Despite the fact that Arteta is reportedly set to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, a move to Barcelona still seems unlikely.
The Spaniard could well extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium and while SPORT have reported that his decision has already been made, Arteta is adored by Gunners fans and would be sacrificing a lot to join an underperforming Barcelona team with financial issues.
As a result, it does seem as though staying at Arsenal is a more likely probability.
Arteta has won three trophies as Arsenal’s manager, while he helped guide them to a second-place finish in last season’s Premier League.