Arsenal cancel pre-season tour due to COVID outbreak days before flying to USA

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Arsenal have cancelled their pre-season tour due to COVID concerns the day before they were due to fly to the USA.

Mikel Arteta's side were set to jet across the Atlantic this week to step up their preparations for the new Premier League season.

But, according to The Athletic, a small number of positive cases in the Arsenal camp have forced them to cancel the tour.

All cases are understood to be asymptomatic, with the club looking at alternative plans to get up to speed before the new season gets underway against Brentford on August 13.

The Gunners were due to take part in the Florida Cup, playing two games and competing alongside Inter Milan, Everton and Millonarios.

They were set to face Inter on Sunday, July 25 before a second game against July 28 against the winner of Everton vs Millonarious.

Arsenal have cancelled their pre-season tour to the USA

There will be more to follow on this breaking news story.

The Gunners have faced Hibernian and Rangers so far in pre-season after a trip to Scotland.

Speaking after their 2-2 draw with Rangers at Ibrox at the weekend, manager Arteta reflected on his goals when they headed to Florida.

He said: "Now a little bit of recovery. We trained really hard, played two games, and now we're going to be travelling to America in the next week.

"We didn't have any injuries which is really positive in the first week. We're going to have some new faces arriving probably, so very positive."

The Gunners confirmed the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga earlier this week, and his introduction to the squad on tour will now be disrupted.

Several youngsters will also miss out on the experience, including Folarin Balogun and Arthur Okonkwo, recently promoted to the first-team.

Folarin Balogun is one of numerous youngsters who would have been involved in the tour

Mikel Arteta this week promised they would be given opportunities and it was down to them to impress.

Speaking to Arsenal's website, Arteta said: "It is great, it is just a small step, but now the bigger step is trying to become a regular in the first team. That is a small step compared to the next step they have to take.

"That is the first thing they have to realise, the hard work is not done yet. The hard work is going to start right now, and the expectations start right now and if they have this mentality they have the potential, we believe in them and they will have the opportunities."

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