It seems Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is not in line for a Barcelona job after all.
Talk emerged this week claiming Arteta – who came through the famed La Masia academy – could be targeted by Barcelona should presidential candidate Joan Laporta be re-elected this weekend.
Laporta, who has previously served as the club’s president, is in a three-way race with Victor Font and Antoni Frexia, who faced off in a debate on Tuesday ahead of this weekend’s election.
Thousands of Barcelona members have already cast their votes via post, but the official election will come this weekend and amid a series of arrests involving former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Laporta is favourite to regain the mantle at Camp Nou, and it emerged last week that if he does win the election, he would like to appoint Arsenal boss Arteta as the Catalan club’s next boss, replacing Ronald Koeman.
But that claim has been refuted by one of Laporta’s trusted associates, Rafa Yuste, who told COPE: “I completely deny it. I know that Mikel Arteta is a great coach, a friend of Pep, but I have not spoken with him.
“And we convey all our confidence in Koeman.”
Koeman has been with Barca since just last year but things haven’t gone particularly to plan with his side on the brink of Champions League elimination at the Round of 16 stage and five points behind leaders Atletico Madrid in La Liga despite having played a game more.
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The news that Barca’s likely next presidential team are not pursuing Arteta won’t come as any great surprise given the Arsenal boss is so early into his time at Emirates Stadium.
This is only Arteta’s first management job and he hasn’t exactly set the world alight with the Gunners currently 10th in the Premier League table.
Arteta will have to do a little better than that to attract the attention of a club of Barcelona’s stature.