Manchester United players have returned further positive tests as the club battle to contain their Covid outbreak.
After Tuesday’s fixture at Brentford was postponed, United are keeping the Premier League up to date amid concerns that Saturday’s game against Brighton is also in doubt.
First-team players returned to their Carrington training base at 10 am yesterday after being ordered to stay away for 24 hours, following a number of positive tests on Monday. They completed a series of lateral flow and PCR tests before being cleared to train, and some were sent home after testing positive.
Staff put on a limited training session which included younger players drafted in to boost numbers. There are fears they may have to ask for Saturday’s fixture to be called off as they monitor the squad’s health.
The Premier League had staff at Carrington on Wednesday to monitor which protocols are being adhered to, as the latest outbreak threatens to disrupt the season.
There was concern that although United said first-team operations were shut down on Tuesday, there were more than 130 on the Carrington site that day, from the women’s squad to the Under 18s and Under 23s who trained and had their Christmas dinners.
United say they are in regular contact with the Premier League, but they are not expecting anyone affected by Covid to be available this weekend.
Meanwhile, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is still feeling the impact of the virus a month after testing positive.
The midfielder played his first full 90 minutes in Tuesday’s 7-0 destruction of Leeds United, in which he scored twice, but admitted he has not yet returned to peak fitness.
Burnley’s home match against Watford was also postponed on Wednesday after an outbreak in the visitors’ squad. Burnley made the announcement on social media at 5 pm, with the game scheduled to kick off at 7.30 pm. The Premier League said Watford had ‘an insufficient number of first-team players available to fulfill the match’.