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Arsenal will worry about Mikel Arteta after Pep Guardiola makes job feelings clear

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, interacts with Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City, prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium on March 31, 2024 in Manchester, England.
-Credit: (Image: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)


Pep Guardiola has shut the door on a Barcelona return in a move that could potentially unsettle the Arsenal faithful.

Mikel Arteta has just a year left on his managerial contract at Arsenal, and despite the appointment of Hansi Flick at Barcelona, fans fear he could be attracted to taking the Nou Camp's top job at some point.

Earlier on this year, rumours had been circulating in Spain about an agreement between Barcelona and Arteta, regarding Xavi's successor. However, the Arsenal boss played down these rumours and dubbed them "fake news".

Yet, Guardiola's denial of a return to Barcelona and the Spanish club's habit of running through managers could leave many Gunners feeling the pressure.

With Guardiola's tenure at Manchester City due to expire in 2025, speculation had been rife about him possibly ending his time with the Blues after the upcoming season. More than a few whispers placed Barcelona as his likely port of call.

However, in an unexpected turn of events, whilst partaking in the Legend Trophy golf tournament in Alt Emporda, Catalonia, Guardiola debunked such notions.

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When interrogated about a potential second inning with Barca, Pep was unequivocal: "Yes, the door is closed. We're getting old now."

This stance taken by the ex-Bayern boss is bound to raise some eyebrows as it directly negates Guardiola's statement from January 2023 where he said: "If I'm training here, wherever and Barcelona calls me, I'll go to Barcelona, it's my club."

Barcelona's quest for a new overseer, post their tumultuous journey with ex-coach Xavi, which included numerous about-turns regarding the former star player's future, finds closure. The baton has now been passed to former Bayern and Germany gaffer Hansi Flick to steer the Catalan giants.

Mikel Arteta, manager of Arsenal, acknowledges the home support during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on May 19, 2024 in London, England.
Mikel Arteta has just a year left on his Arsenal contract -Credit:James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Meanwhile, despite Barcelona's leadership under Flick, Arteta has repeatedly expressed his contentment with his position at Arsenal. In terms of extending his duration with the Gunners, the former player confirmed on record: "I still have a year in my contract, that's a long time in football. The players are happy, the club is happy, no issues. I'm just focusing on the games and winning football matches and that's the most important thing right now."

Barcelona's coaching dilemma could now widen its scope, most notably eyeing former Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp as well.

Despite the speculation that gained momentum earlier this year about the Catalan club luring Klopp from his anticipated summer break, following his surprise decision to leave Liverpool in January, the ex-Borussia Dortmund chief remained resolute in his choice to take a hiatus after a near-decade-long tenure at Anfield.