Football

Mikel Arteta not interested in Barcelona coaching job

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta says he is “privileged” and “extremely happy” to be Arsenal manager, despite reports linking him to Barcelona coaching job.

Dutch legend Ronald Koeman was sacked by Barcelona this week after the La Liga side suffered their fourth defeat in six games in all competitions.

Koeman was appointed in August last year and in his first campaign led Barcelona to third place in La Liga and won the Copa del Rey, but he struggled in his second season following the departure of Lionel Messi.

Arsenal boss Arteta – a former Barcelona youth player – has previously been linked to the manager’s job at the Nou Camp but ruled himself out of contention on Friday.

“I’m extremely happy at Arsenal and privileged to be here. My focus is here,” Arteta told reporters.

“There’s been a lot going on there in the past few years. You have to overcome a situation like the departure of Lionel Messi, who’s been a key player for many years, and I know that takes time. I hope everything works out well.”

Current Barcelona B coach Sergi Barjuan will temporarily take charge of the first team while a decision is made on Koeman’s permanent successor.

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