Manchester City stars Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus and two members of club backroom staff test positive for Coronavirus and will miss the game against Newcastle on Boxing Day
- Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus have both tested positive for Covid-19
- Two members of Manchester City’s backroom have also tested positive
- The players will be forced to self-isolate for 10 days and will miss key games
- Manchester City are due to play against Newcastle on Boxing Day
Manchester City confirmed a coronavirus outbreak as they announced Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus and two unnamed members of staff have tested positive.
All four now face 10 days of self-isolation as per Government guidelines, meaning Walker and Jesus will miss City’s Boxing Day clash with Newcastle today.
They are also expected to miss City’s league games against Everton and Chelsea, but could return for their Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United on January 6.
Manchester City duo Kyle Walker (left) and Gabriel Jesus (right) have tested positive for coronavirus
MAN CITY’S UPCOMNG FIXTURES
26/12 – Newcastle (home)
28/12 – Everton (away)
03/01 – Chelsea (away)
06/01 – Manchester United (away – Carabao Cup semi final)
It comes as fears grow over the spread of the virus within football.
Both Walker and Jesus featured against Arsenal in their 4-1 Carabao Cup win on Tuesday.
Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that Premier League clubs in Tier 4 areas are to revert to twice-weekly Covid testing.
Those under the toughest restrictions are now being screened every 72 hours amid an alarming rise in Covid cases and the discovery of a mutant strain of the virus.
City welcome Newcastle to the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day evening and the game does not seem in jeopardy, despite the spate of positive tests.
The club confirmed in a statement on Friday: ‘All four personnel will now observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine.
Gabriel Jesus started for Manchester City and opened the scoring in the 4-1 win over Arsenal on Tuesday
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola faces a headache without two key players in his team
‘Everyone at the club wishes our colleagues a speedy recovery over the Christmas period ahead of their return to work, training and competition.’
It comes after Fulham confirmed their manager Scott Parker is self-isolating and will not be on the touchline for their game against Southampton. He recorded a negative test, but someone in his household tested positive.
For City, the news that he could be without two key players for the busy festive period will come as a major headache for manager Pep Guardiola, who has seen his side struggle in front of goal recently so had come to rely on Jesus in particular.
The latest Premier League testing results saw the Premier League confirm seven positive tests for the period between Monday 14 December and Sunday 20 December.
Ipswich Town have seen an outbreak of coronavirus among their squad and backroom staff
Newcastle stars Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin suffer from long Covid and are struggling to WALK
Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin have suffered from ‘long-term Covid’ following the club’s mass outbreak.
Newcastle players Jamaal Lascelles (left) and Allan Saint-Maximin (right) last month
Speaking last Friday about the players before they were named, manager Steve Bruce said: ‘My thoughts are with the two players, and the welfare of them.
‘It’s frightening when you think they are young and fit and absolutely supreme athletes. If anybody needs reminding of how serious this is, then we have witnessed it.
‘We’ve had vomiting, sores, mouth ulcers, no smell, no taste, but the big thing, and which is worrying, is the welfare of one or two of them. It’s not great at all.
‘That long-term Covid is something which you wouldn’t think possible in young, fit athletes. Unfortunately, it is so.
‘They go for a walk for half an hour and then they want to go back to bed.. It’s as brutal as that.’
Ipswich Town were particularly hard hit by Covid-19 and saw their manager, Paul Lambert, test positive along with five players and general manager Lee O’Niell.
The outbreak prompted club physio Matt Byard to urge authorities to consider a ‘circuit breaker’ postponement to halt the spread.
He said: ‘I know the EFL are looking at bringing in extra measures, with maybe more testing for example. I have always supported routine testing to secure a return to playing programme.
‘Personally, with so many clubs affected by this presently and this new strain development, football may benefit from a ‘circuit breaker’ before a return to playing securely.’