Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tests positive for Covid-19
The news arrived less than an hour after the Premier League confirmed that all matches are set to go ahead this weekend.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus.
The club confirmed the news via a statement released shortly before 10.30pm on Thursday evening, less than an hour after the Premier League officially announced that all scheduled matches will be going ahead as normal this weekend.
"Our London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive Covid-19 result this evening," begins the Arsenal statement.
"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 statement goes on to note that Arsenal will not be able to play certain fixtures on their currently scheduled dates and will update supporters who have purchased tickets for forthcoming games with more information as soon as possible.
The club is now working to trace any people who had recent close contact with Arteta, following NHS guidance.
"This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly," said Arteta.
"I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”
Arsenal 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."
Shortly before this announcement, the Premier League released a statement of its own, underlining that all planned fixtures for this weekend will take place.
In response to Arsenal's statement, an emergency meeting will now take place on Friday morning.
"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," notes an updated Premier League release.
"The Premier League will make no further comment until after that meeting."