Dani Ceballos has confirmed he did clash with David Luiz in training, but claims he immediately settled his differences with the Brazilian.
The Spaniard initially claimed the story was “fake” after David Ornstein claimed on The Athletic that an altercation took place.
The report alleged that Luiz “struck Ceballos on the nose” after a tackle from the Spaniard during a practice match. The reported confrontation led to Ceballos bleeding from the nose after Luiz scratched him.
Ornstein claims that other Arsenal players had to separate the pair to “diffuse” the tensions. Ceballos and Luiz were then sent home and made their apologies upon returning on Tuesday.
However, Ceballos denied that the incident. Quoting Ornstein’s tweet linking to the article, he simply wrote in capital letters: “Fake”.
Now though the on-loan Real Madrid man has told The Sun about the fracas.
“It was not an exemplary behaviour but it is good to see Arsenal is alive, that the team has character. We are two footballers with very similar leadership qualities and these things can happen,” said Ceballos.
“We didn’t let a single day go by. We spoke that same afternoon after training. Now we have to learn so it does not happen again.”
Arteta will need a ‘few windows’
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has ruled out an imminent title challenge after admitting he will need “a few windows at least” to get the club in a position to rival the Premier League’s big hitters.
Arteta knows football fans in general are impatient, but he says Gunners fans need “to respect the process” as the Spaniard tries to elevate the club.
Four consecutive finishes outside the top have left Arsenal looking up at the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool. They were a whopping 43 points behind champions Liverpool last season.
Their eighth-place finish was their worst result for 25 years in the top flight and Arteta, whoo took charge last December, is well aware of the work he has to do.
“That [will] take a few windows at least to do that,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “To establish yourself to compete at the level of certain clubs in this league, which is nearly 100 points, it takes time.”