ARSENAL BOSS MIKEL Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus, with the Gunners’ London Colney training centre subsequently closed and the first-team squad and staff in self-isolation.
A club statement confirmed the news this evening. It reads:
“Our London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result this evening.
“Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution.
“We expect those who did not have close contact with Mikel to return to work in the coming days. In the meantime our Colney and Hale End training centres will undergo a deep clean and our other club sites are operating as normal.”
The Premier League have since confirmed that it will convene an emergency club meeting tomorrow morning regarding fixtures after Arteta’s positive test.
“In light of Arsenal’s announcement tonight confirming that their first-team coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League will convene an emergency club meeting tomorrow morning regarding future fixtures,” a statement reads.
“The Premier League will make no further comment until after that meeting.”
Arsenal’s statement continued:
“We will work with Public Health England on the next steps in regard to our facilities and staff, and with the Premier League, Football Association and relevant clubs around our forthcoming matches in the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup.
“It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates. We will update supporters who have tickets for forthcoming games with more information as soon as possible.
“We are now working to trace any other people who have had recent close contact with Mikel. We will let them know what has happened and they should follow the NHS guidance which is likely to recommend self-isolation.”
The news comes after it was confirmed that this evening that the Premier League would continue as the UK delays its sport ban. Arsenal were due to travel to Brighton on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Manchester City player is also self-isolating, it’s being reported this evening.
Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham said, on the London club’s situation: “The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is. Our thoughts are with Mikel who is disappointed but in good spirits.
“We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows.”
“Mikel and the full first-team squad, players and staff, will be fully supported, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows,” Head of football Raul Sanllehi added.
“Obviously Mikel’s full recovery is the priority now for us all.”
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Arteta himself noted: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
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