“He Only Has 18 Months Left” – Chris Sutton Claims 2025 Exit For Key Arsenal Figure Is On The Cards

BBC Sport pundit Chris Sutton has suggested that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could still leave the Emirates soon despite angrily denying links to the Barcelona job.

The Gunners boss’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2024/25 season and Sutton says it is “really interesting” that the Spaniard hasn’t had his current deal renewed:

“There’s too much been made of it [the Barcelona story]. He has been linked with it, naturally, he can just say no I am staying at Arsenal and just focusing on Arsenal.”

“It’s not going to derail him. He’ll be flattered really. He’ll love it inside. Eventually, he’ll probably end up at Barcelona. He only has 18 months left on his contract which is a really interesting thing I think.”

Why has there been talk about Arteta’s future at Arsenal?

Barcelona head coach Xavi confirmed at the weekend that he would be leaving the Camp Nou at the end of the season. Despite winning the league title last campaign, Barca are currently 11 points off leaders Girona following the 5-3 home defeat to Villarreal on Saturday.

Reports in Spain have already linked Arteta with replacing Xavi next summer. He is currently the bookies’ favourite for the job, ahead of the likes of Rafael Marquez, Jurgen Klopp and Hansi Flick.

What has Arteta said about the Barcelona rumours?

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Nottingham Forest game, Arteta made it clear in no uncertain terms that the stories about him leaving Arsenal for Barca were false:

“No. That’s totally fake news, I don’t know where it is coming from, it’s totally untrue and I’m very upset about it. I could not believe it. It has no sources. You have to be cautious when you write things in the way it was yesterday.”

Arteta says he has a very good relationship with the Arsenal board and “discussions” over extending his stay with the club will be held at a later date.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.