Mikel Arteta remains “fully focused” on guiding Arsenal to Premier League glory this season amid rumours he is wanted by Real Madrid to replace Carlo Ancelotti.
Arsenal are five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the English top flight in pursuit of their first title since the 2003-04 campaign.
Arteta has been widely praised for his work at Emirates Stadium in his third full season in charge, with a report from Spain on Wednesday suggesting Madrid could make a move.
Ancelotti is said to be under pressure as Madrid head coach, despite guiding the club to a LaLiga and Champions League double last season.
However, when asked about the speculation ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League last-16 first-leg tie with Sporting CP, Arteta said he is giving it little thought.
“It’s things that managers or players can’t control, what is written,” he said at Wednesday’s pre-match press conference.
“What I can tell you is that I’m fully focused on what I’m doing here and extremely proud and grateful to do what I’m doing in this football club. That’s it.”
Meanwhile, earlier today at London Colney… pic.twitter.com/fP8SoIGntU
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 8, 2023
Arteta’s focus will switch from the Premier League to Europa League on Thursday when Arsenal take on Portuguese heavyweights Sporting at Estadio Jose Alvalade.
It is the third of six games in the space of 18 days for the Gunners, but Arteta hinted he will not look to rotate his squad for the European tie.
“We have one team and we have to play the games with the best possible players to win it,” he said. “There have been moments where we have made eight changes.
“We try to accommodate. Players have moments throughout the season where they’re available and when they’re not. For sure we will try to pick the best team to win the game.
“Of course everyone wants to play. It’s true as well when we’ve wanted to rotate players they’ve been injured and unavailable. Tomorrow that may be the case.
“Sometimes it’s been difficult and players have to deserve to play the minutes. Being fair in football is very difficult.
“You have to be really good at communicating your decisions to help players understand what you do, but all the time you have to think for the best of the team.
“We want everybody to feel important and we are going to try to make them feel like that.”
Gabriel Jesus took part in training on the eve of the Sporting match, but Arteta gave little away when asked if the striker could make his first appearance since November.
“News on the squad will be tomorrow,” he said. “We have brought a few players and you will see who is available.”
Asked if Kieran Tierney, Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah are available, Arteta said: “Let’s see how they evolve.
“We’re trying to accommodate everybody and get them in the best position for tomorrow.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.
You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.