Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has reiterated his happiness at the Emirates Stadium amid reports of interest in his services from La Liga giants Barcelona.
This week, it was reported in the Spanish media that Barcelona, while satisfied with their current manager Xavi, were keeping an eye on Arteta after being thoroughly impressed with his success in rebuilding the team – something Barcelona are looking to experience themselves right now.
Asked for his thoughts towards the rumours, Arteta – who spent time in the Camp Nou academy as a player – was quick to brush off the speculation.
“What I can say is I am happy and proud to be where I am,” he told a press conference.
“I think that Barcelona are now on a really good path, I think they have a phenomenal coach – a coach that has been an absolute legend in the club and has lifted the whole place. I think you have to be very respectful of that.”
Signed by Barcelona at age 15, Arteta never made a senior appearance for the Blaugrana and was instead sent out on loan to Paris Saint-Germain in December 2000, after which he would seal a permanent move to Scottish side Rangers.
After an impressive playing career, Arteta worked under former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City before taking his first step into senior management with Arsenal in late 2019.
Arteta faced significant criticism during the early stages of his reign as questions were asked over his readiness for such a huge job, but after months of struggles, Arteta has established himself as a top coach and has led his Gunners side to the top of the Premier League.
Barcelona, meanwhile, have been eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage and find themselves one point behind European champions Real Madrid in La Liga.