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Manchester United vs Brentford in doubt after Covid-19 training ground closure

Manchester United vs Brentford in doubt after Covid-19 training ground closure
United in talks with Premier League over whether it is ‘safe’ for Brentford trip to be played

Manchester United’s Premier League game with Brentford is in doubt after a Covid-19 outbreak caused the 24-hour shutdown of first team operations at the club’s training ground.

A ‘small number’ of United players and staff returned positive lateral flow test results following Saturday’s win over Norwich City and were sent home from Carrington after a round of testing on Sunday.

United confirmed that those individuals have since returned positive PCR results, with the Old Trafford club now in discussions with the Premier League over whether Tuesday’s trip to the Brentford Community Stadium will go ahead.

Players and staff have postponed their travel to London while awaiting a decision. All those who travelled to Norwich at the weekend returned negative lateral flow tests before the journey.

While first team operations have been closed down at Carrington, United’s women and academy teams are still able to train due to the bubble system in place.

A club statement read: “Manchester United can confirm that following PCR test confirmation of yesterday’s positive LFT Covid-19 cases among the first team staff and players, the decision has been taken to close down first team operations at the Carrington Training Complex for 24 horas, to minimise risk of any further infection. Individuals who tested positive are isolating per Premier League protocols.

“Given cancellation of training and disruption to the squad, and with the health of players and staff the priority, the club is in discussion with the Premier League whether it is safe for Tuesday’s fixture against Brentford to continue, both from a covid infection and player preparation perspective. Team and staff travel to London will be deferred pending the result of that discussion.”

After Tuesday’s scheduled trip to Brentford, United are due to face Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford in Saturday’s lunchtime Premier League kick-off. Club sources say it is too early to say whether that game will also be affected.

Brighton manager Graham Potter confirmed on Monday that “three or four” members of his own playing squad have also tested positive for Covid, though their meeting with Wolves on Wednesday is set to go ahead as it stands.

Brighton’s game against Totteham was postponed on Sunday due to positive cases within the Tottenham squad, which first emerged early last week.

Aston Villa have also suffered an outbreak, with Sunday’s training session at their Bodymoor Heath training ground cancelled.