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Arsenal’s Arteta upset over reports linking him with Barcelona

LONDON — Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said on Monday he was upset about reports that he would leave to take over at Barcelona, whose coach Xavi plans to quit at the end of the season.

The Barca links emerged on Sunday a day after Xavi announced he would be stepping down, saying the club needed a change.

“What you read yesterday … it’s totally untrue. I’m really upset about it,” Arteta told reporters on the eve of Tuesday’s Premier League game at Nottingham Forest.

“I could not believe (it). I don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s got no source, it’s got nothing. And I think we have to be very cautious when you talk about personal things.

“There is a lot to do (at Arsenal) and we all share that ambition. We want more, we aren’t satisfied and the club wants another push to go to another level. We have everyone on board to achieve it,” he added.

Arteta also said he hoped to have midfielder Declan Rice and defender Gabriel Magalhaes back in the squad. Both players left the field with injuries during Saturday’s 5-0 home win over Crystal Palace, with Gabriel scoring twice.

“We had some issues at the end of the last game so we will assess those players,” he said. “Rice is one of those players. He has done some work but he has missed some work as well. Hopefully he will be ok. Gabriel is another one.”

Arsenal, who were top in December, have slipped to third on 43 points, five behind leaders Liverpool. Forest, who have won two of their last three league matches, are in 16th place. — Reuters