Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has tested positive for Covid-19 while on international duty with Switzerland and is therefore set to miss the side’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Xhaka was absent from Switzerland’s squad for this evening’s friendly match with Greece after coming down with symptoms on the morning of the match.
The 28-year-old immediately went into isolation away from the rest of his team-mates in Basel and an initial test showed a negative result for the virus.
However, a subsequent PCR test came back positive, meaning Xhaka will not be considered as Switzerland prepare to resume their qualifying campaign for Qatar 2022.
The Swiss – who sit second in Group C – play host to Euro 2020 champions Italy this weekend before travelling to Belfast to face Northern Ireland.
The loss of Xhaka – who wears the captain’s armband for his country – will come as a major blow for Switzerland and a statement on Wednesday evening revealed that a member of Murat Yakin’s backroom staff was also having to quarantine.
‘Xhaka was diagnosed with symptoms on the morning of the game and was immediately isolated in his room,’ the statement from the Swiss FA said.
‘A quick test turned out negative, the subsequent PCR test, carried out to be on the safe side, produced a positive result in the evening.
‘Xhaka stayed out of touch with his team-mates all day. He will do another PCR test on Thursday.
‘The medical staff order no further measures for the team because the other players in the senior national team are all either vaccinated or have recovered.
‘A member of the staff had to go into quarantine.’
It’s been a miserable start to the season for Xhaka, with the midfielder shown a straight red card in Arsenal’s 5-0 loss away to Manchester City following a reckless two-footed challenge on Joao Cancelo.
The Gunners sit bottom of the Premier League table after three successive defeats and Xhaka is set to serve a suspension when he returns from international duty as a consequence of his sending off.
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