Mikel Arteta reacts to rumours he could quit Arsenal for Barcelona in the summer | Football

Mikel Arteta is reportedly considering quitting Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has rubbished speculation that he could be set to leave Arsenal for Barcelona, branding the links ‘upsetting’ and ‘totally fake news’.

At the weekend, a report from Spanish publication Sport claimed that Arteta was strongly considering leaving Arsenal at the end of the season and had informed his close circle that this was the case.

It came after Barcelona head coach Xavi announced that he will move on from the Camp Nou in the summer and Arteta’s name is said to be high up on the shortlist of candidates to replace his fellow Spaniard in Catalonia.

Arteta came through Barca’s La Masia academy as a youth player and went on to make 42 appearances for the club’s B team before sealing a permanent transfer to Glasgow Rangers in 2002.

However, Arsenal moved quickly to deny the rumours emanating from Spain, insisting that Arteta was ‘committed to managing’ the club, with the 41-year-old tied into a contract at the Emirates until 2025.

Asked whether there was any truth to the Barcelona speculation at his press conference on Monday, Arteta told reporters: ‘No, that’s totally fake news.

‘What I read yesterday I don’t know where it’s coming from. I’m really upset about it.

Mikel Arteta speaks to the media

The Arsenal manager spoke to the media on Monday afternoon (Picture: Arsenal FC)

‘I could not believe it. I don’t know where it’s coming from.

‘I think we have to be very careful when you talk about personal things especially.

‘I’m in the right place.’

Barcelona boss Xavi

Arteta is reportedly on Barcelona’s shortlist of possible replacements for Xavi (Picture: Getty)

Arteta maintained that he has a ‘strong relationship’ with Arsenal’s hierarchy as he enters into the final 18 months of his current deal in north London.

On his contract situation, he said: ‘I don’t know. I’ve got a strong relationship with the board.

‘Things come in a natural way. We’ve always done it that way and we’ve done it really well.’

A visibly irate Arteta said he did not ‘deserve’ to read reports questioning his commitment to the Gunners.

Pressed on why he was so angry about the rumours, he responded: ‘One is a consequence of the other. First of all, I’m really cautious when I talk publicly about my personal things.

‘When someone puts a statement about what we’ve done personally.

Secondly, because I don’t think someone deserves to hear news like that. I’ve always said completely the opposite. That’s why I feel upset.’

More to follow.

MORE : The pressure’s on as Arsenal and Aston Villa step up Premier League title bids

MORE : Virgil van Dijk raises doubt over Liverpool future after Jurgen Klopp exit

MORE : Eddie Howe responds to Callum Wilson and Jacob Ramsey rumours as deadline day looms

General Sport