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Arsenal concerns emerge as Mikel Arteta aware of Barcelona's interest in making him boss

It has emerged that Arsenal already have concerns over keeping hold of Mikel Arteta, who is attracting admiring glances from Barcelona.

The Spaniard has overseen Arsenal's stunning start to the season, with the Londoners currently five points ahead of reigning champions Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League after losing just one league game so far this term.

Arsenal's remarkable form comes just months after they imploded in the final weeks of the 2021/22 campaign and fluffed their chance to end a multi-year exile from the Champions League.

Despite that setback, Arteta was rewarded with a new, improved contract that runs until 2025 by the Gunners hierarchy, who were enthused by the progress made under their former midfield star. But just months after Arteta penned fresh terms, Arsenal are already fretting that their highly-rated manager could be poached.

According to a new report from Sport, Barcelona are 'very aware' of the impressive work Arteta has done in north London and view him as a candidate capable of managing the club in the future.

The report goes on to outline that the Arsenal hierarchy - led by American owner Stan Kroenke - are 'already pressing' Arteta to extend his contract again for the long-term project, just months after finalising terms on his current deal.

Although Arsenal are keen to tie him down for longer, Arteta also 'knows' that he has admirers at Manchester City. Arteta cut his teeth working alongside Pep Guardiola at the Etihad before branching out on his own and has long been touted as a potential successor to the Spaniard.

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Arteta is believed to have admirers at Barcelona and Manchester City (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Guardiola agreed a two-year extension to his current deal on Wednesday, meaning he is now committed to City until the summer of 2025 - a date that coincides with the conclusion of the Arsenal contract Arteta signed back in May.

Arteta has already batted away speculation to the top job at Barcelona when he was tentatively quizzed on links earlier this month. He stressed that he is "extremely happy" and "proud" to be at Arsenal before paying tribute to the fine job being done in challenging conditions by current Barca boss Xavi Hernandez.

“I think Barcelona now they are in a really good path,” Arteta said before Arsenal's Europa League triumph over FC Zurich. “They have a phenomenal coach, a coach that has been an absolute legend in that club and has lifted the whole place and you have to be very respectful of that.”

Although Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions League prematurely, Xavi - who took over at the Nou Camp last year following the departure of Ronald Koeman - currently has the Spanish giants sitting comfortably at the top of LaLiga.

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