Transfer Rumors and News

Barcelona contact Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta as hunt for manager continues

In a major development, journalist Alex Pintanel (h/t FCB World) is reporting that Barcelona have contacted Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as they see him as a candidate to replace Xavi Hernandez at the end of the season.

With Xavi announcing his decision to leave the club, the Catalans have been busy in search for a replacement, with Arteta’s name featuring prominently on their wishlist.

The Gunners boss had previously dismissed the links to Barcelona, bashing the reports that he would be willing to leave London for Catalonia as ‘fake news’.

But that has seemingly not stopped the Blaugrana from approaching him, with a call understood to have taken place between the two parties.

Deco, Laporta great admirers

As per the report, Barcelona president Joan Laporta and the club’s sporting director Deco are both great admirers of Arteta and the work he has done at Arsenal.

Arteta fits the profile the club are looking for to take over from Xavi next season. As such, they have reached out to his entourage and even called the Gunners’ manager himself.

Arteta is a popular choice to replace Xavi at Barça. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

A former Barça footballer, Arteta knows the club’s philosophy and style, which counts in his favour. Furthermore, he honed his managerial skills under Pep Guardiola, which is seen as another plus point at Barça.

As such Deco is keeping an eye on his situation at the Emirates while Laporta, too, would be happy to go down this route.

Deal complicated

Despite the strong interest in Arteta, Barcelona realise that signing him from Arsenal will be a difficult operation to pull off.

Arteta has a contract with Arsenal until 2025. If he wanted to leave the London club for Barça, he would have to sit down and negotiate with his club and come to an agreement to terminate his contract.

Apart from Arteta, Barça are also looking at Hansi Flick and Thomas Tuchel, without losing sight of Roberto De Zerbi, who has a contract with Brighton & Hove Albion.

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