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Mikel Arteta ‘tells friends he wants to terminate Arsenal contract and club may agree’

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reportedly intends to leave the Gunners at the end of the season

Mikel Arteta has reportedly told friends that he wants to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, sensational reports in Spain claim. It is said that the Spaniard’s positive relationship with the Emirates Stadium hierarchy would see them ‘agree’ to him prematurely terminating his contract which is due to expire in 2025. Arsenal deny the reports.

Arsenal’s battles with Manchester City for the Premier League title are said to have taken their toll on Arteta. The former Gunners midfielder has been in charge since replacing Unai Emery in late 2019 and has overseen a major overhaul in north London.

Arteta took over a side that had not qualified for the Champions League since 2016. Ridding the squad of high-earning and under-performing players, he has cultivated a more positive atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.

According to Spanish publication Sport, that work has had an impact on Arteta, who has reportedly told his close circle that he could step down at the end of the season. ‘Maximum discretion’ is reportedly being applied while Arteta sees how the remaining stretch of the Premier League campaign plays out.

Incidentally, it comes after Xavi announced his decision to resign as Barcelona manager once the 2023-24 season has concluded, with Arteta previously strongly linked with the Barca job. The report insists that the La Liga giants have not approached the 41-year-old, although president Joan Laporta has publicly declared his admiration for his work.

The Arsenal job has reportedly 'taken its toll' on Mikel ArtetaArteta played in Barca’s famed La Masia academy and grew up as a close friend of Pep Guardiola. He later joined Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City before being appointed as Arsenal head coach.

Xavi announced his decision to leave Barca after seeing his side beaten 5-3 at home by Villarreal on Saturday night. Los Blaugrana led 3-2 until the 83rd minute before capitulating at their temporary Montjuic venue.

“Before you ask me the pertinent questions, I want to announce that as of June 30, I will not continue as Barca coach,” Xavi said afterwards.

Xavi will stand down as Barcelona manager at the end of the season

The former midfielder added: “We have been talking about it with [president Joan] Laporta and with the sports area and, as a cule, I think that the club needs a change of dynamic. Thinking about the club and the players I think they will free themselves and will be calmer.

“Thinking as a club man I think, ‘The best thing is to leave on June 30’. That said, I will give my best in the remaining four months, I think we can have a good season and I hope the dynamic changes.”

Arteta will be a strong contender to replace Xavi, although the current Barca head coach went on to describe his job as being “unpleasant” and “cruel” in a damning assessment that might make potential successors think twice about taking the role.

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