Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has debunked rumours floating over the weekend that he would leave the Gunners for Barcelona.
Sport claimed that the Spaniard had told his entourage that he would accept the Barcelona job after Xavi Hernandez quit his position as head coach.
“It’s fake news,” Arteta said (via Adria Jimenez Munoz). “I am very angry. I will not leave the club this summer.
“I can’t believe what I read yesterday. We need to be more careful when we talk about issues that affect people. I’m in the right place, with the right people.”
Arteta’s commitment to Arsenal will come as a huge relief to the club’s supporters. The Spaniard has transformed the Gunners since taking over in 2019, leading them to an FA Cup success in 2020 and guiding them to a Champions League qualification last season.
Arteta has now laid to rest those rumours that he will leave London – talks that could have proved a distraction as the Gunners continue to fight in the Premier League title race.
The 41-year-old is navigating his side through another title dogfight as they chase their first league win in 20 years.
They sit in third place on 43 points, level on points with second-placed Manchester City and fourth-placed Aston Villa, and five away from Liverpool at the summit.
Arsenal came close to the title last season, topping the table for over 200 days before faltering in the final weeks as Manchester City climbed above them and claimed the trophy on their way to completing a treble.
Arteta will hope that they can avoid those pitfalls this season. He will also be desperate to see Arsenal break their round-of-16 duck in the Champions League.
They have failed to make it past the first round of the knockout stage since 2011, and they have a chance to change that narrative by reaching the quarter-finals, with FC Porto standing in their way.
Arteta’s decision to continue with the Arsenal project will come as a relief to the fans who have trusted the process during his reign.
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