Mikel Arteta is tempted to replace Xavi at Barcelona (Picture: Getty)
Arteta is on Barcelona’s shortlist of candidates to replace Xavi after it was confirmed that he will leave his role as head coach in the summer.
Barcelona have been admirers of Arteta for several years, with the Arsenal boss linked to the job after the Catalan club sacked Ronald Koeman in October 2021.
According to Spanish outlet Sport – it could be second-time lucky for the La Liga champions – with Arteta thought to have already told his close circle that he may decide to leave the Emirates after the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.
Arteta has a contract at Arsenal that runs until 2025 but it is believed that due to his strong relationship with the club’s owners, the Gunners would agree to a ‘consensual exit’ in the summer should the 41-year-old wish to move on.
That comes as terrible news to Arsenal fans, with Arteta having turned the north Londoners into Premier League title contenders since he took the role in 2019.
Arsenal went painfully close to landing their first top-flight trophy since 2004 last term and many pundits have tipped them for glory this time around.
Mikel Arteta has transformed Arsenal into title challengers (Picture: Reuters)
The Gunners have also won the FA Cup and two Community Shield titles since Arteta became manager.
Barcelona’s hierarchy have already begun seeking out replacements for Xavi, with Deco speaking to the agents of potential candidates in the last few weeks.
Arteta has a long association with the La Liga giants having played for their youth teams in his playing career as well as Barcelona B before joining Rangers in 2002.