Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he is “fully focused” on running the club and “extremely happy” at the Emirates after apparently emerging as a potential management target for Barcelona.
The Spanish club will hold their presidential elections on Sunday and candidate Joan Laporta, who is the favorite to be elected for a second stint at Camp Nou, has reportedly identified Arteta as a potential replacement for current Barca boss Ronald Koeman.
Arteta was a Barcelona academy product but left in 2002 without making an appearance for the club.
The 38-year-old also perfected his training methods at Manchester City under former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, whom Laporta appointed in 2008.
But Arteta rejected reports from Catalan radio that he could take over the Spanish giants.
He said: “There will always be speculation when there are elections in Barcelona.
“It’s a huge team and obviously I grew up there as a player, and they will always be linked.
“But I’m totally focused on the job I have to do here, that we have a lot to do and I really appreciate it.
“I feel privileged to manage this football club and I am extremely happy.”
When asked if he could manage Barcelona one day in the future, he replied: “Today and tomorrow I’m the manager of Arsenal Football Club and I really like it and I want to do a lot better than what we did. “
Arteta, who won the FA Cup at the end of his first season at the helm, was named Arsenal boss in December 2019 and will have two years left on his current contract at the end of that campaign.
When asked if any new contract negotiations had started with the club, he replied: “No. We are in the middle of the season, we have a lot to play and at the moment it is not a priority.
“I still have my contract here and I’m happy here, and I don’t think it’s anything urgent.”