Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta play...


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta plays down links to Barcelona

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11:44 3 Mar 2021

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Mikel Arteta insists he is "fully focused" on Arsenal after he was linked with the Barcelona job earlier this week.

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta, who is the favourite to be elected this weekend has his eyes on Arteta as a potential replacement for current Barca boss Ronald Koeman.

Koeman was only appointed last summer but a new president could decide to appoint their own man and Laporta - who hired Pep Guardiola at Barca - is an admirer of Arteta.

The Arsenal manager is a former La Masia graduate and worked under Guardiola for three years at Manchester City before he got the Arsenal job.

The 38-year-old was asked about the links to Barca and said: "There is always going to be speculation when there are elections in Barcelona, it’s a huge team.

"Obviously I was raised there as a player and there is always going to be links.

"But I am fully focused to the job that I have to do here, which we have a lot to do, and I am really enjoying it.

"What I can tell you is I feel privileged to manage this football club and that I’m extremely happy."

Arteta won the FA Cup and Community Shield during his first year in charge of the Gunners, who currently occupy 10th place in the Premier League.

His deal runs out in the summer of 2023 and the Spaniard's focus is on improving the side and not where his future lies.

"We are in the middle of the season. We have a lot to play for and at the moment it is not a priority.

"I think that’s okay. I still have a contract here. I am happy here and I don’t think it is something urgent.

"Today and tomorrow I am the manager of Arsenal football club and I am really enjoying it.

"I want to do much better than what we have done."

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