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The Gunners have outlawed the gesture at their London Colney training ground in an attempt to stop a mystery bug which has already affected numerous players and staff

Arsenal have banned handshakes at their London Colney training headquarters to try and stop a virus spreading through the club.

Arsene Wenger called for the traditional greeting between players to be outlawed, so, according to the Mirror, the players are now touching elbows instead.

The Gunners boss has resorted to such extreme measures after Per Mertesacker, Theo Walcott and Thomas Vermaelen were among the numerous players and staff to have been affected by the bug in the past few days.

Wenger told the Mirror: “We have improved the level of hygiene in the dressing room. We clean everything.

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"It is funny, but shaking hands is one of the biggest things to spread virus.”

Wenger himself enforced a strict rule stating that all his plays must shake hands before each training session to promote team building, that rule is now being ignored until the mystery bug passes.

Players and staff have been urged to wash their hands and stay away from the base at the first sign of illness or a sore throat.

However, Arsenal will perform the ritual handshake with opponents West Ham in Saturday's Premier League encounter at Upton Park.

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