Paul Pogba has tested positive for coronavirus, the France manager Didier Deschamps announced at a press briefing, which means the Manchester United midfielder will now miss a significant part of his club's pre-season.
The 27 year-old was replaced in the France squad for their Nations League games against Sweden and Croatia at the start of next month with Deschamps adding that the test was on Wednesday – leaving Pogba to isolate until Sept 9. Manchester United play their first game of the new league season against Crystal Palace on Sept 19, giving Pogba 10 days of full training before then.
The test is likely to have been done in the United Kingdom before Pogba was admitted to the Manchester United training ground. His situation is complicated by the fact that his wife Maria Zulay Salaues is pregnant.
The news came as other Premier League clubs faced positive tests among their squads as well as players forced to isolate having come into contact with infected team-mates.
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Deschamps said: "I've made, at the very last minute, a change in the [squad] list, because Paul Pogba, who was previously on the list, unfortunately for him he carried out a test yesterday which was returned as positive this morning. So at the last moment he had to be replaced by Eduardo Camavinga [Rennes midfielder]."
The pre-season plans of Chelsea were thrown into turmoil with six positive tests and two further players forced to isolate because of suspected contact with those infected. Those eight were Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Emerson, Michy Batshuayi, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic. The six among them who have Covid are not being identified.
Tottenham Hotspur would not confirm reports that their French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele has also tested positive for the virus. He was not called up to the squad for the two games that were announced by Deschamps, which includes a number of Premier League players such as Hugo Lloris, N'Golo Kante and Anthony Martial.