Mikel Arteta’s rise up the managerial ranks has seen him linked with the Barcelona job this morning.
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.
football.london has looked further into those reports and assessed whether there is any truth in Arteta being targeted by Barcelona.
What was said?
RAC1 journalist Gerard Romero claimed that Laporta is eyeing Arteta as one possible option to take over the Barcelona hot-seat, should Ronaldo Koeman not continue for next season.
The Catalan giants have had a disastrous campaign by their own standards and are facing elimination from the Champions League after a dismal first-leg defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16.
Star man Lionel Messi is expected to leave at the end of the season whilst the club itself is crippled by vast financial issues which could see them forced to sell several first team players this summer.
How likely is Arteta to Barcelona?
football.london understands there have been no conversations or formal approach to Arteta from anyone connected with Barcelona.
That’s not to say that Laporta and those around the club aren’t admirers of his work, but right now there is no interest in bringing him to Camp Nou.
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 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.
What is the general perception of Arteta among Europe’s top clubs?
There is great respect for Arteta from sporting directors across Europe who admire the project he is building at Emirates Stadium.
Arteta worked hard to get his coaching badges in 2015 and previously delivered practical and theory coaching sessions at the FAW National Coaches Conference in 2016 and 2017.
He has a significant eye for detail and the team he’s built around him at Arsenal possesses the perfect balance of experience and younger coaches, with a heavy focus on using video analysis to improve the players.
The general belief among those in the Premier League and beyond is that Arteta will go on to become one of the best coaches in world football, utilising his tactical knowledge gained during his time working alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Will he leave Arsenal?
In short, no.
Arteta has a long-term contract until 2023 and football.london understands there is every chance that deal will be extended if he finishes the season in a positive way.
There have been disappointing results this season but the general consensus is that Arteta’s team have shown gradual improvements across the board since he took over in December 2019.
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Added to the FA Cup success of last season and what looks like a potential European run this campaign, there is every reason to believe Arteta will go on to reach his goals with Arsenal over the next two years.
football.london understands that the Arsenal ownership have full faith in the Gunners boss and backed him to complete a ‘cultural overhaul’ at the club which included a number of first team players leaving in January and the summer.
With further changes expected on the playing staff side this summer and a clear appetite to bring in more of his own players, Arteta’s time in north London won’t be coming to an end anytime soon.