Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta faced a number of questions ahead of the top-flight tie against Burnley regarding rumours that Barcelona see their youth product as a potential manager for the future.

Arteta admitted that this ‘speculation’ will always be rife when there are presidential elections at the Catalan outfit, adding that his ties to the club mean that he’ll ‘always’ be ‘linked’ to the role.

Arsenal’s former captain took the managerial reins over the Christmas period last year, following the sacking of Unai Emery, Arteta is contracted until the summer of 2023, sparking focus on a new deal.

Arteta played down the contract situation by adding it is not his ‘priority’ at the moment or something that’s ‘urgent’ right now. The boss is ‘fully focused’ on the Gunners and finishing off the season.

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“There is always going to be speculation when there are elections in Barcelona. It’s a huge team. Obviously I was raised there as a player and they’re always going to be linked.”

“I’m fully focused on the job that I have to do here, and we have a lot to do. I’m really enjoying it.”

When pressed on the matter:

“Today and tomorrow, I am the manager of Arsenal Football Club, and I’m really enjoying it. I want to do much better than what we’ve done.”

Arteta then commented on the matter of a new contract with the Gunners, the Spaniard has not started negotiations over a new deal as of yet:

“No. We’re in the middle of the season. We have a lot to play for and at the moment it’s not a priority. That’s okay. I still have a contract here and I am happy here. I don’t think that’s something urgent.”

Arteta only represented Barcelona’s C and B teams during his time at the club, before he embarked on a solid career which saw him feature for PSG, Rangers, Sociedad, Everton and the Gunners.

With the Blaugrana’s presidential elections around the corner, it’s clear that massive changes will need to be made to rescue the club financially and improve proceedings on the pitch. Ronald Koeman’s job may well be on the line as the side enter the final third of the season.

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