Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta responds to Barcelona 'marking him' as Xavi successor


    Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has addressed rumours linking him with a future move to Barcelona. The Spaniard has strong connections with the club and is improving his managerial stock with the Gunners this campaign, but any prospective switch may be one for several years down the line. 

    It took Arteta some time to win over his doubters after taking on his first senior managerial post in north London. Things have clicked this season and the Gunners are in with a real chance of going into the World Cup break as the Premier League’s table-toppers. 

    This week, reports from Spain indicated that Barca have marked him down as a potential successor to Xavi in the future. When quizzed on the links in his press conference on Wednesday, the Gunners manager gave a respectful response. 

    “What I can say is that I’m happy and proud to be where I am,” he said. “Barcelona, now, they are on a really good path. They have a phenomenal coach – a coach that has been an absolute legend in that club and lifted the whole place. You have to be very respectful of that.”

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    “It is a challenge,” he admitted. “But we have been trying to load the players pretty equally over the last five or six weeks, because we have been playing every three days and we have managed to do that.

    “You have seen that we haven’t repeated too many blocks of four games for certain individuals and we will try to continue to do that to get everyone as fresh as possible and with enough rhythm heading into the game.”


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