As many as eight Chelsea players have been put into quarantine after six of them were reportedly tested positive for the ongoing global virus. The likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Fikayo Tomori are said to be in self-isolation after returning from the Greek island of Mykonos before pre-season training began last weekend.
Meanwhile, Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Emerson and Michy Batshuayi have also been advised to stay away from Chelsea's Cobham base. No names have been confirmed so far, but Telegraph reports that six players have contracted the virus, while the remaining two are in isolation because of close contact with those affected.
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The players returned to training on Monday after a slightly extended break, but those who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic will report after their isolation period gets over. Those tested positive will have to self-isolate themselves for 10 days and need to return with a negative test result before they can resume training.
The number of positive cases has been on a rise amongst the Premier League clubs during the summer break, with 14 new cases recorded at 12 different clubs. Meanwhile, Sheffield United, Brighton and West Ham United have also reported cases in recent weeks.
Chelsea, who finished fourth in the 2019/20 Premier League season, have been quite active in the transfer market. Having already concluded the deals of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell, they are also said to be in the final stages of roping in the likes of Thiago Silva from PSG and Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen. 21-year-old defender Malang Sarr has also reportedly agreed a five-year contract with the Blues. The former Nice defender will join Chelsea on a free transfer.
Meanwhile, the Blues are set to kick off their 2020/21 Premier League campaign against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Monday, September 14. But before that, Lampard's side will square off against the same opponent in a friendly on Saturday, with Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech expected to debut.
The quarantine news, however, is a blow to Chelsea as they were a part of the UK government's pilot scheme of welcoming the football fans back into stadiums for the first time since March.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / GLyn Kirk