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Arsenal boss Arteta tests positive for coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 22:58 12 March 2020 | UPDATED: 22:58 12 March 2020

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Picture: John Walton/PA

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Picture: John Walton/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal have confirmed that head coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Picture: John Walton/PAArsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Picture: John Walton/PA

The club revealed that the Spaniard tested positive this evening and will now self-isolate for 14 days in line with Government health guidelines, as will the full first-team squad and staff.

'Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guideline,' read an official club statement.

'We expect this to be a significant number of people from London 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.'

Arteta added: 'This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I'm allowed.'

The 37-year-old took over at the Emirates in December following the sacking of Unai Emery and has impressed with Arsenal's results and performances noticeably improving.

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The news of Arteta's positive test comes after it was revealed Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis contracted Covid-19 following the two side's Europa League meeting two weeks ago.

That saw the Premier League postpone the Gunners' clash with Manchester City on Wednesday, and their games for at least the next fortnight will also be cancelled.

'It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates,' the statement continued.

'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.'

Managing director Vinai Venkatesham said: '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.'

Head of football Raul Sanllehi added: '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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