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Arsenal ‘pushing for new Mikel Arteta deal amid Barcelona interest’

Arsenal ‘pushing for new Mikel Arteta deal amid Barcelona interest’

Arsenal‘s owners are reportedly pushing for manager Mikel Arteta to sign another contract extension amid interest from Barcelona.

The 40-year-old has led Arsenal to the top of the table with 37 points from their opening 14 games this term, putting them five points clear of reigning champions Manchester City.

Arteta’s men will be at the top of the rankings at Christmas for the first time since the 2007-08 season, with the Spaniard overseeing a dramatic turnaround in fortunes in his short time in charge.

Arteta has only been able to record two eighth-placed seasons and one fifth-placed finish so far, with Arsenal missing out on Champions League qualification to Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the 2021-22 season.

However, the former Gunners midfielder has made a hugely positive impression in North London, having also won the FA Cup and Community Shield in his debut season.

© Reuters

Arteta’s exploits in North London are believed to have attracted the attention of Barcelona, who view the ex-Everton midfielder as an ideal successor to Xavi, although that would not be expected to materialize for several years.

Manchester City are also reported to be considering Arteta as a replacement for his former boss Pep Guardiola, who recently signed an extension at the Etihad until 2025.

Arteta only signed a new contract at the Emirates back in May, but Sport now claims that Stan Kroenke and Josh Kroenke already want to tie him down for longer.

The Spaniard penned an extension until 2025 alongside women’s first-team coach Jonas Eidevall in the spring, but the report adds that Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) are determined to agree a new contract less than a year later.

Arteta is thought to be aware of Man City and Barcelona’s interest in him, and he is said to remain “very calm” about his future and is in no rush to decide his next career move.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on October 9, 2022© Reuters

Any new contract for Arteta would also be given the green light by Edu, who was recently promoted to the role of sporting director and enjoys a strong relationship with the first-team boss.

Arteta was questioned on Barcelona’s interest in him earlier this month, to which he responded that he was “very happy” at Arsenal, telling reporters: “What I can say is that I’m extremely happy and proud to be where I am.

“Barcelona now are on a really good path. I think they have a phenomenal coach who is an absolute legend at the club and has lived the whole place. You have to be very respectful of that.”

Arteta has now taken charge of 151 Arsenal games since being appointed as Unai Emery‘s successor in December 2019, posting 90 wins, 21 draws and 40 defeats.

The Gunners will take on AC Milan and Lyon in the Dubai Super Cup next month before returning to Premier League action on Boxing Day against West Ham United following the World Cup.

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