Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta would be interested in hiring Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta this summer. The Catalan club are preparing to elect a successor to Josep Bartomeu, with Laporta among the favorites to land the position.
This is only possible when current Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman leaves the club before the start of next season. Koeman’s future at Camp Nou has been up in the air ever since he arrived at the club. The Dutchman has overseen a lackluster campaign with Barca’s hopes of reclaiming the La Liga title rapidly diminishing.
Barcelona lie second in the league, five points behind table-toppers Atletico Madrid having played a game more. They were also on the receiving end of a 4-1 home thrashing by Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League.
Arsenal, themselves are enduring their worst Premier League season ever. The club are reliant on the Europa League to provide them the path to the Champions League for next season.
Arteta’s struggles at Arsenal
Arteta has struggled massively throughout his first full season in charge of Arsenal. The Gunners fell as low as 16th in the Premier League table before rescuing their form during the festive period.
They did win their latest league game away at Leicester City at the weekend. But the club lies tenth in the league, eight points behind fourth-placed West Ham United. They can still qualify for the Champions League for next season by winning the Europa League. But they face Greek side Olympiacos in the next round, the same team that eliminated them from the competition last season.
Although the Gunners have struggled this season, Arteta has earned plaudits for the long-term plan and willingness to shake up the culture at the north London club. He also won the FA Cup and Community Shield towards the end of last season.
Despite the 38-year old’s uninspiring campaign, he could potentially be in line to make a shock move to Barca if Juan Laporta is elected as Barcelona’s next president.
Barcelona interested in Arteta
According to Spanish outlet RAC1, Barcelona are seriously eyeing a move for Mikel Arteta to replace Ronald Koeman. Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers is also under consideration. But Arteta is the front-runner for the job.
Arteta is a graduate of Barca’s famous La Masia academy. But he never actually made an appearance for the first team, leaving for Paris Saint-Germain on-loan in 2001 and permanently moving to Rangers in 2002.
After retiring as a player, Arteta spent three years working as an assistant coach under Barca legend Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in order to learn the first-team manager role. He then left the Etihad to become the manager of Arsenal in November 2019 overtaking the role from compatriot Unai Emery.
The Barcelona hierarchy are keen admirers of Arteta and what he is building at the Emirates. As per the report, Arteta has welcomed the idea of ‘one day’ becoming the manager of his boyhood club. But for now, he remains fully focused on achieving his objectives with Arsenal.