Mikel Arteta has broken his silence about fresh reports linking him with a sensational move to Barcelona.
Arteta is on Barca’s shortlist of candidates to replace Xavi following his decision to step down as manager at the end of the season.
The La Liga giants have been long-time admirers of Arteta, who was linked with the job following the dismissal of Ronald Koeman back in October 2021.
On Sunday, it was reported in Spain that the Arsenal boss is planning a shock exit in June after allegedly telling his close friends that he may leave at the end of the season.
But Arteta, who spent a portion of his youth career at Barca, has dismissed reports linking him with the hot-seat at the Camp Nou.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, he said: “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.”
He added: “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.”
On his contact, he continued: “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.”
Asked why he’s angry with the Barca links, Arteta replied: “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.”
Arteta, who was Pep Guardiola’s No.2 at Manchester City, has been at the helm since December 2019 after replacing Unai Emery and is contracted until 2025.
He has overseen 211 matches, winning 121 games and guided his side to FA Cup glory in the 2019/20 season.
The 41-year-old almost led his team to the Premier League title last season as they finished in second place, five points behind Man City.
The Gunners, meanwhile, haven’t played since their comfortable 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace earlier this month.
They resume their league campaign tomorrow against Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal have 43 points on the board and sit in third place, five points behind league leaders Liverpool.