Mikel Arteta was quick to shut down the possibility of leaving Arsenal to join Barcelona after being linked with a move to the Catalan giants over the weekend. It was reported by Spanish media on Sunday that Arteta had informed friends of his desire to rip up his Arsenal contract at the end of the season.
It came after Xavi had announced his decision to step down from his role at Barcelona in the summer, leading to speculation that Arteta could be the one to replace him. However, the Arsenal boss strenuously denied the links when quizzed on the topic in Monday’s press conference, insisting that the reports made him feel ‘really upset’.
“Who, me? No. That’s totally fake news,” he said. “What you read yesterday, I don’t know where it’s coming from. Totally untrue. I’m really upset about it. I could not believe it, it has no source.
“You have to be very cautious when talking about personal things and putting it in the way it was done yesterday. I’m with the right people and I feel really good about it.”
When asked why he was upset about the Barcelona links, Arteta explained: “One is a consequence of the other. First of all, I’m really cautious when I talk publicly about my personal things, when someone puts a statement about what we’ve done personally.
“Secondly, because I don’t think someone deserves to hear news like that. I’ve always said completely the opposite. That’s why I feel upset.”
Arteta went on to discuss the possibility of extending his stay at Arsenal, with his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2025. He underlined his desire to remain with the Gunners, suggesting that his contract will take care of itself at the right time due to his good relationship with the board.
“I don’t know, I’ve got a strong relationship with the board,” he said. “Things come in a natural way. We’ve always done it that way and we’ve done it really well. There is a lot to do here as well. You can feel it that we want more we’re not satisfied.
“No, we haven’t [already spoken about contracts]. This is something that will happen naturally when it happens, if it has to happen.”
Xavi is not the only manager to have announced that he will be stepping down in the summer, with Jurgen Klopp also revealing that he will no longer be at Liverpool next season. Arteta paid tribute to the outgoing Reds boss by highlighting the influence he has had on the Premier League, saying: “I think he’s made this league much better.
“First of all, the person, the character, the charisma, I think he’s had a big contribution for this league. I love the way he did it. When you see that human side, the challenges and everything that is related to the club. We have to say thank you because he made this league much better.”
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