Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has dismissed reports linking him with succeeding Xavi as Barcelona manager as “completely untrue.”
Xavi recently announced his decision to step down from the role at the end of the season.
Spanish newspaper Sport suggested that Arteta, a product of Barcelona’s youth academy, was considering leaving his post with the Gunners.
Arteta, whose Arsenal contract runs until the summer of 2025, responded, saying, “Who, me? No. That is totally fake news. What you read, I’m really upset about it. I couldn’t believe it. It has no sources.
I’m in the right place with the right people and feel really good about it. I’m embracing a beautiful journey with this club and there’s still a lot to do. I have a strong relationship with the board. Things come in a natural way. When the time is right we will have those [contract] discussions and find the best way to deal with it.”
Although Arteta never played a competitive game for Barcelona’s first team, he went on to have a successful career, including winning the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2020. He worked as a coach under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City before taking over as Arsenal boss in December 2019.
Regarding his future with Arsenal, Arteta stated, “There is a lot to do here and we all share that ambition. We want more, we aren’t satisfied, and the club wants another push to go to another level. We have everyone on board to achieve it.”
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich denied reports that their boss Thomas Tuchel had shown interest in replacing Xavi at Barcelona.
Tuchel spoke at a Bayern fans’ event about his career and experiences abroad, including working at Paris St-Germain and Chelsea, but never mentioned Xavi or his successor. The club issued a statement stating their support for Tuchel and refuting the claims made against him.