Mikel Arteta rubbishes Barcelona links

Mikel Arteta calls the rumours about him leaving Arsenal ‘fake news’, with the Spaniard reiterating his commitment to the north London club.

Arsenal fans were in reactionary mode last night when a report in the Spanish media suggested he was ready to leave Arsenal and that he had informed the club about his decision. The report came days after Jurgen Klopp and Xavi Hernandez announced their desire to quit Liverpool and Barcelona.

Arteta did not make any official announcement; the report about his potential departure from the Spanish press hinted at a link with Barcelona to replace Xavi. The links to the Catalan clubs are nothing new, as the Arsenal boss has seen such rumours before owing to his connection with the club from his early days.

However, Arteta has reiterated his commitment towards Arsenal and rubbished reports of his premature exit as ‘fake news’. While his comments were circulated from his press conference ahead of Arsenal’s visit to Nottingham Forest, many journalists and publications ran it simultaneously, with Ben Jacobs providing the update on this one.

Arteta said, “That’s totally fake news. What you read yesterday, I don’t know where it came from, but it’s totally untrue and I’m very upset about it. I couldn’t believe it. It has no sources. I’m embracing a journey with this club and there’s a long way still to go.”

Arsenal have done well under Arteta, credited with the club’s revival over the last four years after a terrible few seasons. The Spaniard has brought the north Londoners among the Premier League’s elite, and now they are vying for the title in consecutive seasons.

While the links to Barcelona may seem appealing for any manager, even Arteta, the likelihood of leaving his work at Arsenal incomplete may not appeal to the Spaniard. Joan Laporta may try to get him, but other names like Hansi Flick are linked with the job.

Finding Xavi’s replacement would prove more challenging than expected for Barcelona owing to the cost of acquiring a new manager in their current financial climate.

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