Mikel Arteta explains stance on Arsenal contract talks and responds to Barcelona rumours

Mikel Arteta insists he is “fully focused” on his job at Arsenal amid reports linking him with a move to Barcelona.

Reports in Spain claim that Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta is targeting Arteta as he looks to lead the club’s rebuild following the upcoming elections.

Barcelona are currently voting in their latest elections, with the winner set to be announced on March 7th.

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But Arteta admits speculation is inevitable because of his links with the club he played for as a youngster.

“There is always going to be speculation when there’s elections in Barcelona,” he said.

“It’s a huge team. Obviously I was there raised there as a player and there’s always going to be links but I’m fully focused on the job that I have to do here, which we have a lot to do, and I’m really enjoying it.

“Today and tomorrow I’m the manager of Arsenal Football Club and I’m really enjoying it and I want to do much better than what we’ve done.”

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at King Power Stadium on February 28, 2021 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)
Arteta was linked with the Barcelona job

football.london understands there have been no conversations or formal approach to Arteta from anyone connected with Barcelona.

With his current contact expiring in the summer of 2023, Arteta responded to a question in his pre-Burnley press conference over whether he is set to extend his deal anytime soon.

“We are in the middle of the season, we have a lot to play for and at the moment it’s not a priority. That’s okay, I still have a contract here, I am happy here and I don’t think it’s something urgent.”

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Arteta started his career at Barcelona but failed to make a single first-team appearance, before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 1999.

He is said to welcome the idea of ‘one day’ becoming Barcelona manager but remains fully focused on achieving his objectives with Arsenal, where he has already won the FA Cup and Community Shield.

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