Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta refutes rumors of being linked to the Barcelona managerial position following Xavi, stating that such reports are ‘completely untrue.
On Saturday, Xavi revealed his decision to step down from the position at the season’s end.
According to reports, Arteta, a product of Barcelona’s youth academy, is reportedly contemplating departing from his role with the Gunners as well.
“Who, me? No. That is totally fake news,” said Arteta, whose Arsenal contract runs until the summer of 2025.
“What you read, I’m really upset about it. I couldn’t believe it. It has no sources.
“I’m in the right place with the right people and feel really good about it.
“I’m embracing a beautiful journey with this club and there’s still a lot to do. 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.”
Arteta, who never featured in a competitive match for Barcelona’s first team, had a loan stint at Paris St-Germain. Following that, the former midfielder went on to play for Rangers, Real Sociedad, Everton, and eventually Arsenal.
Upon retiring from playing, he transitioned into coaching and worked under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Arteta assumed the role of Arsenal’s manager in December 2019, securing an FA Cup victory with the club in 2020. Last season, Arsenal finished as Premier League runners-up to Manchester City in a closely contested title race.
As of now, the Gunners currently hold the third position in the Premier League, trailing leaders Liverpool by five points. They are set to face Nottingham Forest in a Tuesday fixture.
Additionally, Arsenal remains in contention in the Champions League and is scheduled to take on Porto in the last 16.
“There is a lot to do here and we all share that ambition,” added Arteta.
“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.”
Bayern Munich has refuted claims that their manager, Thomas Tuchel, is interested in taking over from Xavi at Barcelona.
The former Chelsea boss expressed his openness to a move abroad during a Bayern fans’ event, stating, ‘The idea of relocating abroad would once again be appealing to me. Spain boasts an extraordinary league.
“From my perspective, and based on my experience working with Spaniards, they are characterised by a tremendous amount of self-confidence. When you speak with Spanish players, I quickly get the sense that you are engaging with the person.”
But a Bayern statement read: “Our head coach Thomas Tuchel was asked by supporters on Sunday as part of a fan club visit about his coaching career and his previous experiences abroad at Paris St-Germain and Chelsea, and naturally provided information about this during the discussion.
“He also answered general questions from fans about Spain as a footballing country. He never spoke about Xavi Hernandez and his successor, as was falsely claimed afterwards. We will no longer accept such non-factual statements directed against our coach, which always come from the same source.”