Arteta 'extremely happy' at Arsenal, dismisses links to Barcelona


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Manchester City - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - February 21, 2021 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Pool via REUTERS/John Walton

(Reuters) - Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has said he is fully focused on improving results at Arsenal amid speculation linking him with Barcelona -- but the Spaniard is yet to hold talks over a new deal to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium.

Spanish media reported Barcelona's presidential candidate Joan Laporta is interested in replacing current manager Ronald Koeman with Arteta should he win the elections on Sunday.

Arteta was a product of Barcelona's academy but left for Rangers in 2002 without making a senior appearance for the Catalan club.

"There is always going to be speculation when there are elections in Barcelona, it's a huge team," Arteta told a news conference on Wednesday.

"Obviously I was raised there as a player and there is always going to be links. But I am fully focused to the job that I have to do here, which we have a lot to do, and I am really enjoying it.

"What I can tell you is I feel privileged to manage this football club and that I'm extremely happy."

Arteta, who won the FA Cup at the end of his first season in charge at Arsenal, will have two more years on his current deal at the end of this campaign.

When asked whether new contract negotiations have begun with the club, Arteta said: "No. We are in the middle of the season, we have a lot to play for and at the moment it is not a priority.

"I think that's OK. I still have a contract here. I am happy here and I don't think it is something urgent."

Arsenal, currently 10th in the Premier League standings, visit 15th-placed Burnley on Saturday.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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