Arsenal’s London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19 last night.
Mikel said: “This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
Club statement directed all Arsenal personnel, who had recent close contact with Mikel, to 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 club said in a statement published on its website.
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.”
The club assured that it 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 the team’s forthcoming matches in the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup.
Why last Wednesday’s Manchester City vs Arsenal match was called off
The Premier League postponed Wednesday’s match between Manchester City and Arsenal after Nottingham Forest and Olympiacos owner, Evangelos Marinakis, tested positive for coronavirus two weeks after watching his Greek team at the Emirates Stadium.
The 52-year-old, who spends his time between Nottingham and Greece, was at Arsenal’s stadium to watch his team play in their victorious Europa League last-32 tie on February 27.
But Marinakis penned a statement on Instagram last Tuesday confirming that he had contracted the coronavirus, just 12 days after attending the match in north London.
A video posted by Marinakis on February 28 also shows the Greek owner celebrating in stands before receiving a big hug at the Emirates during Olympiacos’ win over the Gunners.
Later on in the same video, it cuts to the away dressing room where Marinakis celebrates with his Olympiacos players just moments after they knocked Arsenal out of the Europa League.
Arsenal revealed in a statement they have “identified that a number of players met the Olympiacos owner immediately following the game” and have vowed to strictly follow Government guidelines.