Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta plans to hold a staff meeting to identify the individual responsible for leaking a training ground spat between Dani Ceballos and David Luiz, vowing “there will be consequences” for the person involved.
Details of a fracas at the end of a practice match on Friday became public earlier this week with Luiz accused of reacting to a strong Ceballos tackle by striking the Spaniard on the nose.
It was also claimed that Luiz drew blood with a scratch before the pair were separated by staff members. Ceballos took to Twitter to declare the story “fake” but sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday that there had indeed been an altercation between the pair although neither player was sent home as a result.
Arteta sought to play it down at his pre-match news conference on Friday ahead of the Gunners’ weekend trip to Leeds United but said: “I don’t like the fact that that incident comes out at all. And I will find out where it is coming from and if that is the case, that goes completely against what I expect from each other, the privacy and the confidentiality that we need, and there will be consequences.”
Asked if he will address his staff on the matter, Arteta replied: “Yes.”
It is the second time Ceballos has been involved in an incident with a team-mate this season after clashing with Eddie Nketiah during the warm-up ahead of Arsenal’s win at Fulham on the opening day of the Premier League campaign.
“Whether it’s a coincidence or not it doesn’t change things much, it’s just the competitive levels that we demand and the standards we want to set,” said Arteta.
“But obviously it’s a very thin line, where it’s a competitive issue and where it goes somewhere else that we obviously we don’t support and don’t want. But it’s a contact sport and incidents and going to happen, it’s about how you resolve them within the team and individuals and how you move from there.”
Ceballos has been an unexpectedly peripheral figure this season, starting just six matches across all competitions, and is battling Joe Willock for a recall with Mohamed Elneny in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty for Egypt and Thomas Partey struggling with a thigh strain.