CHELSEA have been rocked by the news that Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for coronavirus.
The Premier League will meet at 10.30am this morning to decide the fate of upcoming fixtures, but it would appear highly unlikely this weekend's match at Aston Villa will go ahead.
Get all the latest news and gossip from Stamford Bridge here…
Chelsea have confirmed that Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for coronavirus.
A club statement just released says: “Chelsea men’s team player Callum Hudson-Odoi had a positive test result for coronavirus returned this evening.
“Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men’s team building will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines.
“These will include initially the full men’s team squad, coaching staff and a number of backroom staff.
“It is expected that those who did not have close contact with Callum will return to work in the coming days.
“In the meantime, the men’s team building, one of several separate buildings at our training ground, will remain closed.
“The rest of our training facility, Stamford Bridge and our other facilities are operating as normal.
“Callum displayed symptoms similar to a mild cold on Monday morning and has not been at the training ground since then as a precaution.
“However, his test came in positive this evening and he will undergo a period of self-isolation.
“Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible.
“We will continue to adhere to Government and Public Health Guidelines with regard to our facilities and staff and will be discussing next steps with regards to upcoming fixtures with the Premier League on Friday morning.
“We will provide further updates as necessary via the club’s website.
“We wish Callum a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the club soon.”
FROM SUNSPORT'S TOM BARCLAY
Graham Potter sees Ben White staying at Brighton for the long term – despite interest from the Premier League’s big boys.
White, 22, has been earning rave reviews this term while on loan at Championship leaders Leeds.
And that has led to links to the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and, most recently, Arsenal – who Albion face on Saturday.
But Seagulls chief Potter said: “He’s contracted with us and he's our player and we leave the speculation to others.
“I've personally liked him since we saw him at Newport. We wanted to sign him when I was at Swansea.
“So I’m delighted that he's had a great experience with Leeds, but he's our player and I'm looking forward to working with him.”
Potter has been keenly monitoring White’s development under Marcelo Bielsa, who has even at times deployed the ex-Newport and Peterborough loanee in midfield.
Brighton’s boss claimed he was not surprised by that particular tactical tweak and is looking forward to having the ball-playing centre-back at his disposal next term.
Potter added: “He’s got the qualities to play midfield. He’s that type of centre-back – mobile and can take the ball and pass the ball.
“And he’s in the hands of a very, very good coach. So, whatever Marcel decides is fine by me!
“I'm aware of his progress and we keep a track of that, The guys have been watching him.
“I spoke with him over text, just to wish well for the rest of the season. He’s doing well, so we’re pleased with him.”
Chelsea players were ordered not to attend training on Thursday after someone close to the squad complained of coronavirus symptoms.
The Athletic claim that the club's training base at Cobham is being thoroughly cleaned as a precautionary measure and there are no members of staff in the building.
The report adds that the person experiencing a fever and dry cough had not been diagnosed with coronavirus as of Thursday lunchtime and training is set to go ahead on Friday.
FUNNY OR DIE-GO
Diego Costa took his trademark wind-ups a step too far on Wednesday night by reportedly pretending to cough on journalists as he left Anfield.
The former Chelsea striker had spent the evening sparking the Merseyside crowd as his Atletico Madrid side claimed a dramatic extra-time win over Champions League holders Liverpool.
But his departure from the stadium, through the mixed zone filled with media, drummed up more controversy.
Footage from El Chiringuito showed the player hurriedly making his way out of the ground while pretending to wheeze.
PA Media reporter Carl Markham tweeted that Costa passed the busy area while “fake coughing at everyone as he went down the line”.
The Premier League have confirmed that all games this weekend WILL go ahead as scheduled amid the coronavirus crisis.
An official statement read: “Following the latest update from Government issued this afternoon, all Premier League matches will go ahead as scheduled this weekend.
“While the Prime Minister advised that all sporting events should take place as normal for now, he also indicated that Government is considering banning major public events, like sporting fixtures.
“We are therefore continuing to work closely with our clubs, Government, The FA, EFL and other relevant stakeholders to ensure appropriate contingency plans are in place as and when circumstances change.
T”he welfare of players, staff and supporters is of paramount importance and we will continue to follow Public Health England guidelines thoroughly.
“We will keep everyone updated as appropriate.”
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