Arsenal boss Arteta plays down Luiz and Ceballos fight

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Mikel Arteta has played down reports of a fight between Dani Ceballos and David Luiz in training – saying incidents happen all the time behind closed doors.

The Athletic revealed on Thursday that Ceballos and Luiz had clashed after the latter had taken exception to a challenge by the Spaniard during a training ground match at London Colney.

It was reported that Luiz hit Ceballos in the face, leaving the midfielder with a scratch on his nose, although Ceballos, who is on loan from Real Madrid for the season, labelled the story as ‘fake’ on social media.

Despite the Spaniard’s denials, it is understood that the two players did indeed clash – although Arteta said he did not see exactly what went on when he was quizzed on the incident.

The Arsenal boss did insist, however, that there is now ‘no problem at all’ between the pair, who could both feature when the Gunners take on Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday.

“I have got a really bad vision from far,” Arteta said with a smile. “That is why we train behind closed doors.

“Training is very competitive and issues happen a lot of times. Those things get resolved immediately within the team and there is not much to say.”

Meanwhile, Arteta, says the situation around Willian has been “resolved” after the Brazilian travelled abroad without the club’s permission during the international break.

Willian was pictured on social media at restaurant in Dubai, despite current government guidelines stating that “travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education.”

It is understood that in explaining his reasons for the trip, the former Chelsea man told Arteta that it was for business reasons and that he was fulfilling commitments linked to image rights.

The forward trained with the squad on Thursday having tested negative for coronavirus upon his return and Arteta says the incident has now been dealt with – although he stopped short of confirming that the 32-year-old would still be in the squad to face Leeds this weekend.

“The deal has been resolved, explained and dealt with in the team and the club,” said the Gunners boss. “We had a conversation and I explained what I was expecting.

“There are a lot of personal factors at the moment and as well from our side, we need to be in their shoes. A lot of players are having different issues, like any public person out there, and sometimes they make decisions based on the needs or the moment or what people are expecting from there.

“Whether they are right or wrong, after obviously it is a thing we have to discuss. But, again, it has been dealt in the right way and let’s move on.”

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