Arsenal respond to Mikel Arteta exit rumour after Barcelona link | Football

Mikel Arteta is reportedly considering his future at Arsenal (Reuters)

Arsenal have denied reports claiming that Mikel Arteta is planning to leave the club at the end of the season.

On Sunday evening, a report from Spanish newspaper Sport claimed that Arteta has already indicated privately that he intends to step down as Arsenal manager at the end of the season.

Arteta’s decision would now make him a strong contender to replace Xavi as Barcelona’s head coach after the 44-year-old announced in the wake of his side’s 5-3 defeat to Villarreal on Saturday night that he will leave Camp Nou at the end of the season.

However, Arsenal have quickly denied those reports, insisting that Arteta is ‘committed to managing’ the club.

It has also been denied that Arteta spoke to his coaching staff about the possibility of leaving Arsenal at the end of the season.

FC Barcelona head coach Xavi

Barcelona are looking to replace Xavi this summer (Getty)

Arteta is likely to clarify his future during his Arsenal press conference at 1PM on Monday afternoon.

The Spaniard’s current contract with Arsenal runs until 2025.

Arteta has been on Barcelona’s radar for several years as the Spanish champions attempted to lure him to Camp Nou after they sacked Ronald Koeman in October 2021.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have been dealt an early blow in their search for Xavi’s replacement as Luis Enrique appears to have ruled himself out of a return.

The 53-year-old guided Barcelona to nine major trophies during his three-year stint as head coach and reports in Spain have claimed over the weekend that Barca’s players are keen to see him replace Xavi this summer.

However, when asked by Spanish radio station Cope on Sunday evening about a potential return to Barcelona, Luis Enrique said: ‘I have nothing to say.’

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