Spain has been hit with another COVID-19 positive test, with Leeds United’s Diego Llorente following Sergio Busquets in contracting the virus days before Euro 2020 begins.
Skipper Busquets tested positive on Sunday – a day after the 0-0 draw with Portugal – meaning the rest of the squad and coaching staff needed to follow protocol and self-isolate.
As a result, Spain’s Under 21 squad stepped in to play the friendly with Lithuania and won 4-0 in Leganes on Tuesday night.
But worryingly, La Roja’s place in Euro 2020 is in major doubt after the confederation confirmed that Llorente had also tested positive and was forced to leave their training camp in a medicalized vehicle on Tuesday night.
His PCR test was carried out on Tuesday morning at La Rozas and both he and Busquets must isolate for 10 days – potentially ruling them out of the country’s first two group fixtures.
“The RFEF regrets to announce that the central defender Diego Llorente has tested positive in the last PCR tests carried out this morning at the concentration of the national team in Las Rozas,” a statement from the RFEF on Tuesday night said.
“The footballer will leave tonight the concentration of the national team in a medicalized vehicle, following all the established health protocols.
“The concentration of the National Team will continue with all the work routines established in COVID 19 situations. Personalized training will be maintained to continue with the preparation of the European Championship.
“For their part, the training sessions in Las Rozas for the players in the parallel bubble will continue this Wednesday at 11:00 am under the command of Luis Enrique in response to the setbacks suffered in recent days.”
All other players have tested negative but RFEF president Luis Rubiales thinks there will be more positive tests due to other players coming into close contact with Busquets and Llorente.
Spain has created a “parallel bubble” and drafted in Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, Leeds forward Rodrigo Moreno, West Ham’s Pablo Fornals, Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, Celta Vigo winger Brais Mendez and Villarreal defender Raul Albiol as potential replacements should more positive tests arrive.
The deadline for Enrique to make adjustments to his 24-man squad due to COVID or injury is on Saturday.
Several Under 21 players are also set to join the bubble, while senior squad members will adopt a COVID-safe personalized training routine.
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