Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the club’s Premier League fixture against Manchester City on New Year’s Day.
The Gunners have confirmed that Arteta is now ‘isolating in line with Government guidelines’.
Arteta is not the first Premier League manager forced to miss a game because of Covid-19, with Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira unable to take charge of Crystal Palace’s last two matches. Control of the Eagles has been handed to assistant coach Osian Roberts and that will be what happens here.
Current Covid-19 rules in England and Wales dictate that anyone who tests positive must self-isolate for the next 10 full days. If that person is initially asymptomatic, the 10-day period then restarts if symptoms later start to show.
However, general isolation can be cut to just seven days if the person has no symptoms and is able to report negative rapid lateral flow on day six and seven of the isolation period.
Football clubs will also be more easily able to monitor the health of players and staff with more accurate PCR tests to ensure that infection risk is as low as possible.
Arteta was in the dugout for Arsenal’s most recent fixture against Norwich on Boxing Day, with the Gunners then seeing their clash with Wolves scheduled for Tuesday night postponed.
If the Spaniard only has to isolate for seven days, he will be back in time to lead his team in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool on 6 January.