Manchester City are given the COVID-19 all clear with no new cases after round of emergency testing, allowing them to resume training but without five infected stars... and trip to Chelsea looks set to go ahead as planned


Club put in place a rigorous testing programme after five players tested positive

Latest set of tests have come back all-clear with no fresh cases recorded

Five players and at least two staff members had contracted the virus  

Outbreak forced the postponement of their trip to Everton on Monday night

It means City are more likely to fulfil Sunday's Premier League fixture at Chelsea

Wednesday's Premier League game between Tottenham and Fulham called off 

English premier league cub Manchester City has received thegreen light of covid free ticket to resume their training.

This was made kown yesterday, 30th of December by il news which states that Manchester City have been given the all clear after an emergency round of coronavirus testing.

Pep Guardiola's squad reported to the City Football Academy on Tuesday for tests after five players and at least two staff members contracted the virus.

Those results all came back negative on Wednesday afternoon and the team trained shortly after. The training base will be partially re-opened. 

Guardiola's side are scheduled to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and the news of no additional positive tests raises the prospect of that game now going ahead.

Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker have been self-isolating over the past week following positive tests announced on Christmas Day, with three other players having contracted the virus in the days after.

That led to the postponement of Monday's trip to Everton, with the Toffees disgruntled by the way in which that decision was communicated by the Premier League.

City fear that members of their squad contracted the mutant Covid-19 variant, emanating from London and the south east, on the day of their Carabao Cup victory at Arsenal last week. Gabriel, the Arsenal defender, has also returned a positive test.

There will be further tests of the squad on Thursday and Saturday prior to the Chelsea match. Should that take place, it eases the potential for fixture congestion over the coming months. 

City are already two matches behind some teams in the division and remain in all three cup competitions. 

A statement issued by City read: 'The full Covid-19 bubble underwent testing yesterday, and results have so far revealed no new positive cases.

'Safety remains our number one priority, and the Club will continue to proceed with great caution.

'The first team training buildings have undergone a deep clean over the past 48 hours, and the majority of these facilities will remain closed, with only essential operations around training resuming.

'The bubble will undergo further testing in the coming days, the results of which will inform and dictate the next steps.

'Everyone at Manchester City continues to wish speedy recoveries to all of our colleagues who remain in self isolation following their positive tests.'  

It came against a backdrop of significant concern that the football season could be halted amid a surge in positive cases in the Premier League and the EFL.

Wednesday night's fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham has been postponed following an outbreak at the west London club. 

The latest round of testing at the 20 Premier League clubs, held between December 21 and 27, produced 18 positives, the highest number yet this season. 

Sheffield United and Fulham are known to be two of the clubs where positive results have been returned.

The previous round of tests between December 14-20 returned just seven positives.

But despite calls for a two-week shutdown of the Premier League, there are no plans at present to stop matches.  

Premier League Covid protocol enforcement teams have warned clubs to tighten training ground protocols following a number of reported breaches in recent weeks. 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville are among those against a two-week pause.

Solskjaer said he 'can't see the benefit' of stopping the season and questioned when the backlog of fixtures would be played amid an already congested schedule.

'It's not something I've thought about a lot. I think our players have been really good in following protocols and rules,' Solskjaer said after United's 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

'That's part of the job here, that we as clubs follow the protocols given. I can't see the benefit in having a circuit break, whatever it's going to be called.

'Because when are we going to play the games? We all know this year is so difficult, but I don't think stopping the games is going to make a big, big change.'

Neville tweeted: 'Football has proven through the last 6 months it can operate safely. It was right to be cautious and concerned through the first lockdown when the virus was new and unknown.

'It shouldn't stop now in my opinion. This virus isn't going anywhere in 2-4 weeks!!'

But West Brom manager Sam Allardyce was of a different opinion: 'Everyone's safety is more important than anything else. 

'When I listen to the news the variant virus transmits quicker than the original virus [so] we can only do the right thing which is have a circuit break.

'I am 66 years old and the last thing I want to do is catch Covid. I'm very concerned for myself and football in general.

'If that's what needs to be done we need to do it. We had one positive this week and it seems to be creeping around no matter how hard we try.'

Sheffield United and Fulham reported multiple positive tests, though the Blades' match against Burnley on Tuesday still went ahead. 

Covid has also taken a firm grip further down the pyramid with seven of 12 scheduled matches in League One on Tuesday night postponed.

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