Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta reportedly wants Mikel Arteta to take charge of the club should Ronald Koeman not stay on next season.
The Catalan club are due to hold elections for who will become the club’s next president later this month and Laporta is among the favourites to be sworn in for what will be his second stint at the Nou Camp.
Laporta has already outlined a number of big plans should he be voted in as president, with one of his main priorities to convince Lionel Messi to stay at the club.
Mikel Arteta has emerged as a potential managerial candidate to take over Barcelona
But while one of his main jobs will be convincing one La Masia product to stay, another will be convincing a former academy graduate to return.
According to Catalan radio station RAC1, Laporta is eyeing up Arteta as a replacement for current Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman.
Koeman, who was appointed by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu before he was ousted from the club, was never seen as much more than a stop-gap option for the club and has been linked with the exit later this summer once a new president has been sworn in.
The Dutchman only got the job last summer and has done relatively well to manage the club during one of it’s most disastrous periods in recent memory.
Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta reportedly wants the Arsenal boss next season
Current Barca boss Ronald Koeman could be replaced after just one season in charge
While it hasn’t totally clicked on the pitch and in Europe, Koeman has been solid but Laporta has reportedly wanted a new man in the Barcelona hotseat for a new era at the club.
Club legend Xavi Hernandez has been linked with the managerial role but is set to turn any offers down, which leaves Arteta to top Laporta’s shortlist.
Laporta – who gave Pep Guardiola his big break at the club in 2008 – believes Arteta’s philosophy would fit perfectly with the club’s way of playing football, especially since the Spaniard learned the ropes under Guardiola himself while he was a No 2 at Manchester City.
Since taking over at the Emirates, Arteta has largely impressed as Gunners boss and is finally starting to settle in his first job in charge.
After taking over from Unai Emery midway through the last campaign, Arteta went on to win the FA Cup and Community Shield and is helping establish an identity at the club, bringing in a wealth of exciting and talented young players.
Laporta (left) gave Pep Guardiola (centre) his first big break in management at Barcelona
Arsenal chief Edu claimed the club were ‘in the process to have a beautiful future’ under Arteta.
‘Mikel is doing a great job, he’s doing really well here,’ he said in December.
‘If we’re not talking about patience with Mikel. It would be very unfair to him because what a year we have faced: three months without football matches, a lot of things changing in the club.
‘He started, stopped, and when he started to get an understanding of all the squad he stopped again.
‘It would be really unfair to Mikel to say something about that because the year was so challenging for everyone, but even more for Mikel, who had just arrived at the club.’