Mikel Arteta's Barcelona contract offer could be back on as Xavi U-turn opens door

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been linked with the Barcelona job

Arsenal have been issued a warning regarding Mikel Arteta as Xavi's U-turn at Barcelona could potentially open doors amidst contract issues.

Despite the current circumstances, it seems Barcelona might have a strategy in place. After a meeting at the residence of club president Joan Laporta and a Japanese takeaway meal, first-team manager Xavi officially reversed his decision to depart from his beloved Blaugrana at the end of the season.

The unexpected announcement on Wednesday confirmed that the legendary Barca midfielder would stay in his position until his contract expires in June 2025. With only 14 months left, Xavi's decision raises the question: what happens next?

There's an option for his contract to be extended for another year until 2026, but three other names closely associated with FC Barcelona are also out of contract next summer and have been linked with returns: Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, reports the Mirror.

There's a long-standing belief that Guardiola will one day return to Barca for a second stint as manager and the same goes for Enrique, whose Paris Saint-Germain side ousted Xavi and co from the Champions League last week in their own backyard - their temporary one in Montjuic anyway.

Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal boss, has been at the centre of speculation about taking over at Barcelona, with reports from Spain in January claiming he had agreed to replace Xavi. Arteta was quick to label these as "fake news," despite his contract nearing its final year.

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Arteta isn't in a hurry to discuss his future, expressing contentment earlier this month before Arsenal's recent setbacks: "No, nothing. I am really happy.

"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."

Post-season will likely see more serious talks regarding Arteta's tenure, as Arsenal continues to navigate a busy fixture list. With another substantial transfer budget expected from Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, both the management and owners are keen to restore Arsenal's former glory.

Barcelona, with their enviable array of young talent including the likes of Lamine Yamal, Pau Cubarsi, Gavi, and Pedri, certainly have a unique allure, particularly for those with deep-rooted ties to the club. President Joan Laporta's confidence in attracting marquee players is well-documented, and with sporting director Deco reportedly keen on Arteta, speculation is rife.

The potential arrival of Erling Haaland at Camp Nou in 2025 as a successor to an ageing Robert Lewandowski could be another tempting factor for Arteta. However, the Arsenal boss, who has a history with Barcelona from his youth days, seems firmly rooted in England after nearly two decades.

Arteta recently expressed his contentment with his current situation: "I'm in the right place and I feel good about it," he said, underlining his commitment to the Gunners' project.

He continued, highlighting his bond with the club and its leadership: "I'm embracing a journey with this club and there's a long way still to go. I have a strong relationship with the board. Things come in a natural way. When the time is right we will have those [contract] discussions and find the best way to deal with it."

It would certainly be a bold move from Barcelona to pin their hopes on Arteta changing his mind at Arsenal, and if Guardiola were to become available, then surely the Manchester City boss would become their first-choice pick. PSG managers don't often last more than two seasons either, so Enrique returning to the club with whom he won the Treble nine years ago is feasible.

The financial aspect will undoubtedly come into play, as Arteta is reported to earn significantly less than what Guardiola and Enrique earn at their respective clubs. A few levers would need to be pulled but if Xavi is to actually leave in 2025, the door is open for Arteta