Mikel Arteta has said there will be consequences for any Arsenal player found to be breaking coronavirus protocols but did not confirm if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did when he had a tattoo done last week.
Aubameyang posted footage of himself being given a tattoo on social media on February 10, and Arsenal confirmed they would speak to the player regarding the incident.
Neither Aubameyang nor the tattoo artist, Barcelona-based Alejandro Nicolas Bernal, were wearing masks, raising concerns that the striker may have broken coronavirus protocols. Tattoo parlours are currently closed as part of lockdown restrictions.
Arteta confirmed Aubameyang has travelled to Italy with the Arsenal squad for Thursday night’s Europa League tie against Benfica and said: “Whatever we do with our players, we keep it internally. Some of the players have extended families at home and if any player does something that is not in the regulations, of course the club acts immediately but also privately.
“We try to advise every player so that they know the rules and they stick to those rules all the time. If someone doesn’t do it, we have to act.
“Again, I can’t tell you who every player lives with but when somebody does something they shouldn’t be doing there will be consequences and if not, there won’t be.”
Arsenal’s round-of-32 first-leg tie against Benfica will take place in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, with a second leg to come in Athens on February 25.
With the Gunners eight points off the Premier League top four, winning the Europa League might be their most realistic route into next season’s Champions League.
“The way we went out last season has created more hunger for us to do well in this competition this season,” said Arteta, whose side were knocked out by Olympiacos in dramatic fashion last year.
“We have to use that to put more energy and more passion into this competition. We want to win a trophy for this club and to participate in the Champions League again would be massive for this club.”