Home Estate Planning Mikel Arteta slams Arsenal exit rumours but refuses to rule out joining a rival club

Mikel Arteta slams Arsenal exit rumours but refuses to rule out joining a rival club

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has rubbished reports in Spain that he is ready to take the Barcelona job, insisting he has unfinished business in north London.

Arteta has been touted for a return to the club where he developed as a youngster after current boss Xavi Hernandez announced at the weekend that he would quit in the summer.

He called one Spanish media report that Arteta had told his inner circle he would be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season “totally fake news”. 

“I don’t know where it’s coming from and it’s totally untrue. I’m really upset about it,” he said.

“I’m in the right place, I’m with the right people, I feel really good about it. I said many times: I’m embracing a very beautiful journey with this club, these players and staff – our people – and there is still a lot to do.

“I love what I do. I love every minute and get a lot of joy waking up every morning and knowing I’m going to drive to Colney [Arsenal’s training centre]. It drives you when you feel respected and loved and feel a clear direction.

“There is a lot to do here and we all share those ambitions. And you can feel it; we are ambitious and not satisfied. We need everybody on board to achieve it, and I am certainly on board.”

Arteta has overhauled the squad and resurrected the team’s fortunes since his appointment in December 2019, culminating in last season’s title challenge and qualification for the Champions League.

The Spaniard’s current contract is due to expire in 2025 but he played down any urgency in agreeing a new deal.

“I think I’ve got a strong relationship with the board, with Edu, with Tim [Lewis, director], with the ownership and things come in a natural way,” he added. 

“We’ve always done it that way and it’s worked out really well. When the timing is right we will have those discussions and think about the best way to do it.”

Arteta, however, declined to pledge that he would never manage another English club, as Jurgen Klopp did last week when announcing his intention to quit in the summer.

“I don’t know,” said the former Arsenal and Everton midfielder, who coached under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City before returning to the Gunners. 

“I played for two great clubs in this country, I moved around in different things, I’m extremely young and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Arsenal sit third in the Premier League and return to action on Tuesday night when they travel to Nottingham Forest.

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