Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has spoken following news he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Arsenal made the announcement on their website on Thursday, March 12.
The Arsenal Colney Training Centre has now been closed, with personnel who had had recent close contact with Arteta now in self-isolation.
“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,” said Arsenal.
This new development has prompted the Premier League to schedule an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss future fixtures.
“This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed,” Arteta said in a statement.
The Premier League on Thursday, March 12 announced fixtures were to go on as planned despite the pandemic, with Arteta’s men scheduled to play Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
“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,” Arsenal Head of football Raul Sanllehi said.
The Gunners were scheduled to play Manchester City on Wednesday, March 11, before news of Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis contracting the COVID-19 emerged, leading to cancellation of the fixture.
Marinakis reportedly met a number of Arsenal’s staff and players when the Greek side played at the Emirates Stadium in London in a Europa League tie last month.
Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham emphasised the need to put people’s health first.
“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,” said Venkatesham.
The Gunners are the latest club to get a taste of the dreaded COVID-19, with Leicester City having announced that three players had isolated themselves following displaying signs of the virus.
Juventus defender Daniele Rugani was also reported to have contracted the virus.
The entire squad will reportedly have to spend two weeks in quarantine, and won’t able to face Olympique Lyon in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 on March 17.