Arteta 'proud' to be at Arsenal amid Barcelona links

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Mikel Arteta insists he is "extremely happy and proud" to lead Arsenal despite reports linking him with Barcelona as he praised Xavi's "phenomenal" work at Camp Nou.

Arsenal have won 10 of their 12 Premier League games this season to lead Manchester City by two points at the summit, and they will top their Europa League group if they beat Zurich on Thursday.

The Gunners' excellent form has seen Arteta linked with a move to Barcelona, where Xavi is facing mounting pressure after failing to lead the Blaugrana to the Champions League's last 16.

However, Arteta remains fully focused on his current role, saying: "What I can say is I am extremely proud and happy to be where I am now. I think Barcelona are on a really good path now.

"I think they have a phenomenal coach, a coach who has been an absolute legend at that club and has lifted the whole place, and you have to be very respectful of that."

Despite Arsenal's strong results, some onlookers have expressed worries about the form of Gabriel Jesus, who has not scored since a 3-1 derby win over Tottenham at the start of last month.

However, Jesus claimed two assists in Sunday's 5-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest, as well as playing a key role in the first of Reiss Nelson's two goals, and Arteta sees no cause for concern.

"If he makes three assists in a game, I don't think he has to make many adjustments," Arteta said. "I will be really happy if he is able to do that every game."