Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus, the club has confirmed.

The Gunners' training ground at London Colney has now been closed down and all those who have been in contact with Arteta are undergoing observation.

Arteta is understood to have felt ill earlier this week and was showing some of the telltale signs of the virus.

As a result, Arsenal's game with Brighton this weekend has been postponed and an emergency meeting will take place between clubs on Friday.

It is believed that Arteta's virus was not caught from Olympiacos' Evangelos Marinakis who also had the illness and was at the Emirates two weeks ago for a Europa League game.

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The announcement of Arteta's coronavirus came approximately an hour after the Premier League confirmed action would go ahead as planned this weekend following a statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Premier League's decision to carry on as normal, when most other leagues around the world have called a stop to their matches, has been heavily criticised.

But following Arteta's decision, an emergency club meeting will be held on Friday to discuss future fixtures.

The Premier League said: "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."

Arteta becomes the latest big football name to contract the virus, following Daniele Rugani, Manolo Gabbiadini and others.

An Arsenal statement announcing Arteta's diagnosis said: "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."

Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi said: “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. Obviously Mikel’s full recovery is the priority now for us all.”

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Managing director Vinai Venkatesham added: “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.”

More to follow.

  • Arsenal FC
  • Mikel Arteta
  • Coronavirus

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