Manchester City have confirmed two of its players have tested positive for COVID-19, less than a week before the start of the new Premier League season.
In a statement on its website, last year’s league runners up said Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte were “observing a period of self-isolation” after testing positive.
Neither of the players are displaying symptoms, the statement continued.
They are just the latest Premier League stars to be confirmed to have caught the virus, with games due to kick off from Saturday, September 12.
The news follows the positive coronavirus test for Paul Pogba at local rivals Manchester United in late August.
In the UK, those who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days from the day of the test result, restarting the 10 days if symptoms appear.
Manchester City’s opening game against Wolves is on 21 September, meaning the two players could be available for selection.
The Premier League is carrying out thousands of tests each month in an effort to ensure coronavirus doesn’t spread through teams.
Currently, no spectators will be allowed inside stadiums to watch matches as part of the government and Premier League’s coronavirus prevention measures.
Breach of coronavirus rules
Mahrez and Laporte’s Manchester City teammate Phil Foden meanwhile has been dropped from England’s next Nations League game after breaching coronavirus rules in Iceland.
Foden, along with Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood, will have to travel back to England for breaking the guidelines, England manager Gareth Southgate said, saying the players “have been naive”.
Social media video published in Iceland, where the team has been staying, purports to show the players meeting women outside the team bubble.
“Given the procedures we have to follow now they will have to travel back to England,” Southgate said. “What is clear there was a breach of the COVID guidelines. We have spent so long getting those measures in places.”
The England team will now travel to Copenhagen ahead of Tuesday’s match against Denmark, without the two youngsters.
A number of breaches of coronavirus rules have put matches in jeopardy as leagues and competitions battle to continue despite the global pandemic.
In August a number of Scottish football matches were postponed after the Scottish government threatened to suspend the national football season, following breaches of regulations by some players.