Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta would be interested in hiring Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta if current boss Ronald Koeman leaves the club in the summer.
Koeman’s future has been up in the air pretty much ever since he arrived at Camp Nou last summer – with results not always as good as they are expected to be – although a recent upturn in form has helped ease the pressure.
However, sources have confirmed to 90min that club officials are considering all their options as the March 7 presidential elections inch ever closer. Talks are being held over what to do if Koeman does not continue into next season, and a handful of names have been suggested.
Laporta is not planning to do away with Koeman just yet, instead calling for support for the club legend during a tricky season, but he has refused to guarantee that the Dutchman will be at the helm next season.
“He’s a Barcelona great and he deserves a degree of confidence,” Laporta said (via Marca) when asked about Koeman’s future in December. “This degree will be determined by results and performances, which is the law of football.
“I encourage him to pick up the baton and guide the players because anything can happen in football. Each person has their own way of expressing what they feel and each person has their own way of motivating people.
“I saw that in the first campaign we had with [Frank] Rijkaard. The first half of the season was disastrous and then we missed out on the league by a very small margin. We had a historical comeback.”
A product of the Barcelona academy, Arteta never actually made an appearance for the first team, instead being shipped out on loan to Paris Saint-Germain in 2001 before sealing a permanent move to Rangers in 2002.