Mikel Arteta has slammed reports he was ready to quit Arsenal to become Barcelona manager as “fake news”. Reports in Spain on Sunday claimed Arteta had told colleagues he was going to leave the Emirates Stadium to return to Barcelona at the end of this season. Current Barca boss Xavi announced on Saturday he would step down in the summer after a string of disappointing results, leading to Arteta being installed as one of the favourites to replace him. Having come through the fabled academy at Barcelona, Arteta has a long-standing connection to the Camp Nou.
But the 41-year-old on Monday insisted he is keen to stay put as he aims to lead Arsenal to their first Premier League title since 2004.
“I am in the right place. I am with the right people,” Arteta told reporters.
“I feel really good about it. And, as I said many times, I am invested in a beautiful journey with this football club, with these players, these staff, our people.
“There is still a lot to do here. We all share that ambition and you can feel it as well, that we want more, that we aren’t satisfied and that the club wants to take another push and another level in everything we are doing.
“This is where we are. We need everyone on board to achieve it and I am certainly on board.”
Dismissing the Barca reports as completely fabricated, Arteta admitted he had been upset by the story as he prepares for Tuesday’s Premier League trip to Nottingham Forest.
“That’s totally fake news. I don’t know where it is coming from and it is totally untrue. I am really upset about it,” he said.
“I could not believe it. I don’t know where it is coming from and it has no source.
“I understand we are in this industry, but I don’t think anyone deserves to hear news like that.
“I have always been really straight and always said the complete opposite; how happy I am and how much I enjoy where I am now.”
Arsenal welcome Premier League leaders Liverpool to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday for a crucial clash.
It brings Arteta head-to-head with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for the last time in their current jobs after the German stunningly announced on Friday he will leave Anfield at the end of the season.
Klopp said he could never manage another club in England but, having served as an assistant under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Arteta did not rule out such a switch in the future.
Asked if he could see himself managing another Premier League team, he replied: “Today, no. But I don’t know.
“I played for two great clubs in this country (Arsenal and Everton). I moved around in different things. I am extremely young and I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“I think he (Klopp) made this league much better. First of all the person. The character, the charisma, the ideas and his passion for the game is something special. I think he’s had a big contribution for the growth of this league.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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