Mikel Arteta downplays Barcelona links, opts to focus on Arsenal duties

Arteta, on his part, has downplayed any such suggestions. He insists that his focus is on his current role at Arsenal and winning games for the storied club.

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Pratham K Sharma
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Only time can tell whether Arteta is being honest or keeping his cards close to his chest.

Only time can tell whether Arteta is being honest or keeping his cards close to his chest.

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Mikel Arteta's current situation as a manager presents a fascinating case of loyalty meeting ambition. While recent news reports depict him as content with Arsenal, rumours persist linking him to the soon-to-be vacant managerial position at Barcelona.

After a tumultuous period, Arteta has instilled a sense of stability and progress at Arsenal. The young squad, moulded by his visionary tactics, is playing attractive and effective football. A potential top-four finish in the Premier League this season would be a significant feat, solidifying the upward trajectory under his leadership. That seems likely as Arsenal have played really well so far this season and are currently 2nd on the table. 

Furthermore, Arteta has a contract with Arsenal until 2025. This provides him with time to continue building his project and potentially challenge for trophies in the coming years. He could also be offered an extension as the decision-makers may not want to disrupt the positive momentum that he has built.

The Barcelona lure

Barcelona, on the other hand, represents a unique opportunity for Arteta. It's the club where he began his professional career, albeit with limited playing time. He spent his formative years in their famed La Masia academy, immersing himself in their philosophy and playing style. Returning as manager would be a homecoming of sorts, a chance to shape a club close to his heart.

The situation in Barcelona is also intriguing. The looming departure of Xavi will leave a void, and Arteta's style of play aligns with the club's traditional approach. 

For now, though, Arteta has brushed aside any rumours of a move. He has said that for now, his focus is only on helping Arsenal win games. "No, nothing. I am really happy. I still have a year in my contract, that’s a long time in football. The players are happy, the club is happy, no issues. I’m just focusing on the games and winning football matches and that’s the most important thing right now," he said.