Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta responds to Barcelona rumours he could replace Ronald Koeman



Posted Thursday, March 04, 2021 by Express.co.uk

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has dismissed speculation linking him with the Barcelona job as Ronald Koeman is under pressure at the Nou Camp. The Catalan giants look set to miss out on the La Liga title this term as Atletico Madrid sit top of the table.

Barcelona are due to elect a new president on March 7 and it is thought the new chief will want to bring in his own manager.

Arteta came through the infamous La Masia academy before carving out a career in the Premier League with Everton and Arsenal.

He has since taken up the manager's job at the Emirates Stadium but he has a long way to go to get the club back into the Champions League.

Despite going through a turbulent season, reports in Spain suggests Pep Guardiola's former apprentice is wanted by Barcelona.

"There is always going to be speculation when there's elections in Barcelona," Arteta responded.


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta responds to Barcelona rumours he could replace Ronald Koeman
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has responded to Barcelona rumours (Image: GETTY)

"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."

Arteta is hoping to be backed in the summer transfer window so he can try and guide the club back into the top four.

"We are planning what is going to happen in the summer," the Spaniard explained.

"It will depend where we finish and how we finish in some cases. Everything is planned so let’s see what the market can bring and what the last few months can bring as well."

A number of players may have to be sold to fund a summer spending spree and striker Alexandre Lacazette is constantly linked with a move away from north London.

"He’s got a contract with us," Arteta said. "He played really well the other week.

"It’s exactly what we demand him to do. I am really happy with him and the discussions about his contract will happen soon and we’ll see what happens."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta responds to Barcelona rumours he could replace Ronald Koeman
Mikel Arteta is hoping to have funds to spend this summer (Image: GETTY)

Youngster Folarin Balogun is another who is linked with leaving the Gunners in pursuit of regular football.

"I am pretty positive about it," Arteta said of the 19-year-old's situation. "Every time I spoke to him he mentioned the same thing that he’s determined to stay here that he wants to stay here.

"We had some really positive conversations with his agent as well. Edu is in charge of that."



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