MIKEL ARTETA has comforted pal Pep Guardiola after the heartbroken Manchester City boss lost his mother to the coronavirus.
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And Arteta was among the first to offer his sympathy — having been English football’s first Covid-19 sufferer last month.
“I know his family really well and I send my condolences to them all and hope that they can come through this all together.
We have to maintain the connection with players and care for them and do things to improve their development and education.
WHO SAID IT
“He was worried about his parents before this happened because they are getting older, and they have been trying to isolate them.
“Things are really complicated back in Spain at the moment. They have taken even stronger measures to deal with the situation and it is critical at the moment.”
Arteta, 38, insists he has now completely recovered after he and wife Lorena were laid low by the virus for a week.
It was his positive diagnosis for Covid-19 which led to the entire English game being placed in lockdown and he admits he has no idea when he will be allowed to resume his managerial duties.
He remains in daily contact with the Arsenal executives but says that making long-term plans is practically impossible at the moment.
And he reveals it is even possible that he will not be able to add to his squad if the club continue to haemorrhage cash because of a lack of TV and gate money.
He told Sky Sports: “In terms of transfers, I am planning for two or three different scenarios.
“Depending on each one, we will be able to do more, less or nothing. We don’t know what the financial situation is going to be, we don’t know the rules, the timing or window.
“There are so many things we can’t control at the moment and we are having to react on a daily basis.”
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Arteta is also keeping his players on their toes with a series of mental and physical challenges during their time in isolation.
He said: “They are young players with a lot of energy and they are bored and need something to do.
“We can’t train together but we can keep in touch through technology.
“We have to maintain the connection and we have to care for them and do things to improve their development and their education.
“I want them to assess where they are and what they want to do in their lives.
“We have had some really good conversations and this has been a good opportunity for me to get to know the players more, to break some boundaries and be open with our feelings.
“If these players don’t realise how lucky they are, they have a much bigger issue than the coronavirus.”