Arteta, who spent three years with the Catalans as a youth-team player, would be disappointed as a fan if Messi were to move on.
However, the former City assistant says the prospect of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner playing in the Premier League is exciting.
“He has been linked everywhere, you know? He has more clubs than any other player in history after him!” Arteta said on Thursday.
“I’ve been a Barcelona fan since I was young and it’s always sad to see, who in my opinion has been the best player in football history, leave that football club.
“Let’s see what happens. If he comes to England, we’re all going to enjoy it.”
Arteta is not even unduly concerned by the prospect of Messi joining City, as he attempts to turn Arsenal back into title challengers again. When asked about Messi heading to a rival club, he said: “It doesn’t matter. It’s good for football