Arteta expected links to ‘huge’ Barcelona job


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Mikel Arteta was not surprised to see himself linked to the Barcelona job amid presidential elections at Camp Nou this week.

The Arsenal boss thinks connections with him and Barca, where he started his playing career, are inevitable.

However, Arteta insisted his full focus for “today and tomorrow” was on managing Arsenal.

Arteta won the FA Cup and Community Shield early in his 14-month tenure but his first full season has proved more difficult.

Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League table going into Saturday’s away match at Burnley, though they did earn an impressive comeback win over Leicester City last time out.

The Gunners have also reached the Europa League last 16 and Arteta stressed there was so much more to do.

“There is always going to be speculation when there’s elections in Barcelona,” Arteta told a news conference amid reports leading candidate Joan Laporta wants to hire him.

“It is a huge team. Obviously, I was raised there as a player and they are always going to be linked.

“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.

“I’m really enjoying it and I want to do much better than what we’ve done.

“I don’t know [what is different about coaching Barca or Arsenal]. What I can tell you is that I feel privileged to manage this football club and I’m extremely happy.”

Having stressed his commitment to Arsenal, Arteta was pressed on whether he had started contract negotiations with his current club.

The Spaniard revealed he had not, but did not feel it was a pressing issue as his deal runs until 2023.

“We are in the middle of the season,” Arteta added. “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.

“The aim is to go on and beat Burnley, we have been chasing [a top-four place] for a while but it is not in our hands.

“The only thing we can control is our own results and performances. 

“We are fully determined to do that better than what we have done in the past eight months.”

Arteta expected links to ‘huge’ Barcelona job

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