Arteta downplays Ceballos and Luiz training ground scuffle but insists training is ‘competitive’

Mikel Arteta has played down suggestions of a training ground bust-up between Dani Ceballos and David Luiz, but insists training at Arsenal is ‘very competitive’.

Reports emerged this week of an angry confrontation between the two players during training, with The Athletic reporting that tempers flared between Ceballos and Luiz following a challenge from the former at Arsenal’s training ground that led to Luiz allegedly hitting out at the Spanish midfielder.

Ceballos and Luiz were part of a group not called up for international duty and were preparing for this weekend’s clash with Leeds and Elland Road, though Arteta has moved to deny reports of problems in the dressing room and labelled the incident as ‘nothing’ – Ceballos having taken to Twitter on Thursday to brand the report ‘Fake’.

“Nothing,” the Arsenal boss insisted at his pre-match press conference. “Training is very competitive and issues happen a lot of times and those things get resolved immediately within the team and not much to say. No problems at all.“

Arteta also discussed Willian’s trip to Dubai during the international break, after the Brazilian was pictured in the United Arab Emirates – a trip he reasoned as business as he fulfilled image contract rights.

Willian will not need to self-isolate following his return from the UAE, though he will have to return a negative coronavirus test before he is allowed to return to first-team training with the Gunners.

The Brazilian winger has struggled for form since his summer switch from Chelsea and Arsenal were reportedly not informed of his trip to Dubai, though Arteta says any problems will be resolved ‘internally’ at the Emirates.

“You keep asking me about more and more issues,” Arteta said.

“Whatever happens internally, issues we don’t expect as always we will try to resolve them internally and deal with and explain and we move on. We had a conversation and I explained what I was expecting.

“There are other personal factors at the moment 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 them. Whether they are right or wrong it’s a thing we have to discuss. Its been dealt with in the right way so lets move on.”

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