Soccer

Man Utd plunged into Covid-19 crisis with positive tests ahead of Newcastle tie

Manchester United have been plunged into a Covid crisis with some members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's coaching staff believed to have tested positive.

It's understood up to three coaches working with the first team are affected but today's clash with Newcastle will go ahead as planned.

The coaches involved are thought to have returned positive tests last week and didn't travel to Turin for the Europa League game with Real Sociedad which United won 4-0.

It was believed the club's AON Training Centre at Carrington was closed for a deep clean but a United spokesman insists the facility remains open with players due to attend the centre today.

An official statement from Man Utd read: “Nicky Butt & Mark Dempsey will join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the bench this evening due to some of the coaching staff having to self isolate.

"The home Premier League game against Newcastle United at Old Trafford will kick off at 7pm.”

That suggests none of Solskjaer's backroom team: Mike Phelan, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, or Kieran McKenna will be present at Old Trafford; though there is no indication whether any of them have tested positive for Covid.

The individuals concerned will not be named due to the privacy of medical information.

It appears none of United's playing staff have contracted the virus, meaning Solskjaer's squad is unlikely to have been affected.

Three players were due to face late fitness tests over minor injury problems.

Scott McTominay was a doubt after picking up a knock in Thursday's win over Real Sociedad, while Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek were also battling to prove their fitness in time.

Solskjaer was due to make a decision on the trio after training on Saturday.

Speaking about meeting the test of relegation battlers Newcastle, Solskjaer said: "Every game in the Premier League is difficult. You’ve got to earn the right.

"You’ve got to do it by your quality but first of all the attitude.

"Run more than them, want it more than them and we’ve got players who have got the quality, so hopefully we can take the chances.”

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