Mikel Arteta ‘fully focused’ on Arsenal despite Barcelona links

Mikel Arteta ‘fully focused’ on Arsenal despite Barcelona links

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted he remains fully committed to the Gunners, despite reports linking him with the Barcelona job.

Presidential candidate Joan Laporta was recently claimed to have Arteta on his list of potential replacements for Ronald Koeman at the end of the season if the Dutchman is relieved of his duties this summer.

Ronald KoemanRonald Koeman
Koeman’s future is up in the air | Fran Santiago/Getty Images

There is yet to be any contact between Barcelona and Arteta, but the boss was adamant that he is not listening to the speculation anyway as he has a job to do at the Emirates.

“There is always going to be speculation when there are elections in Barcelona, it’s a huge team,” Arteta said (via ESPN). “Obviously I was raised there as a player and there is always going to be links. But I am fully focused to the job that I have to do here, which we have a lot to do, and I am really enjoying it.

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

Mikel ArtetaMikel Arteta
Arteta is keen to finish the job with Arsenal | Pool/Getty Images

When this summer arrives, Arteta will have two years remaining on his contract. Talks over a new deal are yet to be held, but Arteta insisted that he wouldn’t expect them to have at this point.

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

Contract talks may not be on the cards just yet, but Arteta revealed that he has spoken with the club’s hierarchy about their transfer strategy for the season, admitting a lot of it will come down to where the Gunners finish in the Premier League.

“We will see, we are planning what’s going to happen in the summer,” he continued. “It will depend on where we finish, how we finish. I think what we had to do in December is unprecedented for a club of this stature. To do the amount of transactions that we have to make it tells you as well where we are.

“I think it was very much needed and you want to improve, you want to do that. It’s where you have things in the house and you believe that you can improve on it.

“Externally acquiring players to go to the next level. Everything is planned and let’s see what the market can bring and what the last few months can bring to the club.”

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