Mikel Arteta hits out at ‘FAKE NEWS’ after out-of-the-blue reports in Spain claim the Arsenal boss is ready to quit the club this summer… as he urges: ‘I’m in the right place’

Mikel Arteta has reconfirmed his commitment to Arsenal, hitting back at sensational reports in Spain claiming the Gunners boss could leave the club at the end of the season.

A report of Spain claimed that the 41-year-old football coach had told those close to him that he was considering a move away from the north London club.

But speaking at a press conference today ahead of Arsenal’s trip to play Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, the Gunners boss flatly denied the surprise rumors were true.

‘No. It’s completely fake news,’ the 41-year-old said when asked about the reports. “What you read yesterday, I don’t know where it came from, it’s completely false. I’m really upset about it.

‘I could not believe it. I don’t know where it comes from. I think we have to be very careful when you talk about personal things, especially when it’s put in the way it was yesterday.

He added: ‘I’m in the right place. I am with the right people and I feel very good about it.

“As we have said many times, I embrace a beautiful journey with this football club. With these players, the staff, our people. And there is still much to do.’

On tomorrow’s game, Arteta added that Thomas Partey will not be in the squad to face Nottingham Forest tomorrow, but hopes that Declan Rice will be fit.

Rice came off early in the 5-0 win over Crystal Palace and has been rated ever since.

On Sunday evening, sources close to Arsenal also categorically denied that there was any truth to the reports.

Arteta also admitted the allegations left him feeling upset, saying: ‘One is a consequence of the other. First of all, I am very careful when I talk about my personal things in public.

‘When someone posts a statement about what we’ve done personally. Second, because I don’t think anyone deserves to hear such news. I have always said the complete opposite. That’s why I feel upset.’

After ending his playing career at Arsenal in 2016, the Spaniard would move to Manchester City to work as an assistant manager under Pep Guardiola. He would then return to the Emirates, taking over from Unai Emery to oversee 210 games as Arsenal’s manager.

Arteta was asked if it was a compliment for him to be linked with the vacant Barcelona manager’s job.

It comes after Xavi left his role as the side’s head coach on Sunday amid their turbulent start to the 2023-24 season which has seen the LaLiga outfit crash out of the Copa del Rey, falling 11 points behind league leaders Girona has.

But Arteta replied: ‘It is something we cannot control. It’s part of football. That’s something very different from someone making a statement about something I do. It’s very, very different.’

Arteta’s current contract will expire at the end of the 2024-25 season and the Arsenal boss has spoken out about contract negotiations with the club.

Barcelona are looking for a new manager next season with Xavi set to retire

Barcelona are looking for a new manager next season with Xavi set to retire

‘I do not know. I think I have a strong relationship with the board with the team and the ownership and things come in a natural way.

‘We’ve always done it that way and it worked out really well. When the time is right, we will have those discussions and think about the best way to do it.’

When Jurgen Klopp resigned at the end of the season, he said: ‘I think he made this league a lot better. First, the person. The character, the charisma, the ideas and his passion for the game is something special. I think he has made a great contribution to the growth of this league. Then I like the way he did it. If you see the emotion he put in and you see that human side, explaining the reasons behind his decision and the challenges and everything related to our work, I think he was spot on.

“When someone has done what he’s done for that football club and the league, you have to respect that and basically say thank you because I think he’s made this league a lot better, he’s made every manager better and he’s made the league a lot better and made more intense.

“Sometimes you feel that you don’t have it anymore, sometimes it can happen if you are a player, a manager or in any job, you have to be very careful to manage that energy and that time and how much you invest.

‘It is extremely demanding. I love it and I’m young and have a lot of energy, but I understand that after many years — I think with Jurgen it was 24 years doing different jobs in different countries — it’s something that happens naturally.’

More to follow…

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