Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta responds to Barcelona job links and says 'I'm very happy where I am' following reports he could replace Xavi

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted he is ‘extremely happy’ and ‘proud’ to be where he is after being linked with the Barcelona job.

Recent reports in the Spanish press have claimed the Gunners boss is being eyed by the Spanish giants as a possible replacement for Nou Camp legend Xavi.

Arteta brushed off links with the Barcelona job

Getty

Arteta brushed off links with the Barcelona job

Arteta came through Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy and played for the Catalan club’s C and B teams in the early days of his playing career, before he first joined British football in 2002 with Rangers.

And with Xavi under pressure after the team failed to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages for the second consecutive season, Arteta has been linked with a return.

The former Spain midfielder has clearly impressed his former club with his work at Arsenal, where he has overseen major changes in the club’s operation behind the scenes as well as on the pitch.

The Gunners currently sit top of the Premier League, and are two points above defending champions Manchester City, after losing just one of their opening 12 games of the season, and many fans hoping their club has finally returned to where they should be.

Few can resist the lure of Barcelona, though, and losing Arteta now would be a hammer blow to Arsenal’s plans.

However, Arteta and soothed any fears he could leave the Emirates Stadium hotseat.

Arteta has told Arsenal he is going nowhere

Getty

Arteta has told Arsenal he is going nowhere

Arteta is attracting the eyes of the European elite thanks to his good work at Arsenal

getty

Arteta is attracting the eyes of the European elite thanks to his good work at Arsenal

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with FC Zurich, Arteta said: “No [I don’t make anything of it]. 

“What I can say is I’m extremely happy and proud to be where I am.”

Arteta added that he believes Barcelona are on the right track under Xavi, who he has tremendous respect for.

“I think Barcelona are in a really good path,” he said.

“They [have] a phenomenal coach who has been an absolute legend in that club and has lifted the whole place, and you have to be respectful of that.”

Xavi recently spoke out about Barcelona’s hopes for the season after crashing out of the Champions League, admitting fans should save their trophy dreams for next year.

talkSPORT has been told exiting Europe’s top tier at this stage will be ‘devastating’ to Barcelona’s finances and a huge obstacle in their pursuit for stability.

Barcelona legend Xavi is feeling the heat of the Nou Camp hotseat

Getty

Barcelona legend Xavi is feeling the heat of the Nou Camp hotseat

These are dark times for Barcelona

getty

These are dark times for Barcelona

However, Xavi has insisted Barca are on the ‘right path’, despite dropping down into the Europa League – which is probably not something the Camp Nou faithful will want to hear.

“We lack maturity – we have a lot of youngsters and we’ve had the worst Champions League group in years,” he said before their final group game against Czech side Viktoria Plzen, which Barca won 4-2.

“We’ve had injuries. They’re not excuses, but that has hurt us. With respect to last season, we have a better squad and we have given a better image in Europe. But we haven’t been up to the task.

“We have tried to compete in the Champions [League] and it wasn’t enough. The steps we have taken with respect to last year were smaller than we expected, but we have to be patient and keep working.

“We have to persist and there is no need to hesitate. We are in the Europa League. We are on the right path. The titles will be won in 2023, we have to wait to see if we have options.”

You May Also Like

Discover the Top 10 Greatest Swimmers of All Time: A Must-Read for All Swimming Fans

The story of some of the most amazing swimmers of all time.…

Moises Caicedo not for sale as Brighton reject Arsenal and Chelsea bids, Keylor Navas agrees Nottingham Forest move after turning down Cristiano Ronaldo reunion, Anthony Gordon completes Newcastle medical, Leeds reject Jack Harrison bid from Leicester

talkSPORT.com brings you live coverage of all the latest breaking transfer news…

Brighton tell Moises Caicedo to stay away from training as he tries to complete Arsenal move

Brighton tell Moises Caicedo to stay away from training ahead of FA…

Is Luka Doncic playing tonight against the Utah Jazz? | January 28th, 2023

NBA All-Star starter Luka Doncic played just three minutes in the Dallas…

‘Cristiano Ronaldo will finish his career in Europe’ says Al Nassr coach who advises players to ‘not always try to give Cristiano the ball’

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr manager has said that his new star player…

Artur Beterbiev vs Anthony Yarde LIVE: Boxing start time, stream, updates, undercard results

LIVE Artur Beterbiev vs Anthony Yarde LIVE: The WBC, IBF and WBO…

Cheeky female Hearts fan interrupts Italian TV live coverage to flash the underside of her BREAST

Cheeky female football fan interrupts Italian TV live coverage to flash the…

What is Mark Chapman’s net worth, franchise fee, salary and brand endorsements?

Mark Chapman is a professional New Zealand cricketer. He plays the role…