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AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho has directly told Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Mourinho took to Xhaka’s Instagram comments to send him a message after his decision to decline a vaccine.
Xhaka missed Switzerland’s game against Greece on Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19.
After showing symptoms on the morning of the game, a rapid test returned a negative result before a PCR test confirmed he was infected.
The Swiss football federation’s head of communications later revealed that he had declined an offer to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Adrian Arnold told Blick: “Granit Xhaka was not vaccinated.
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“He’s a player who isn’t vaccinated. We left this up to each player. It’s a personal decision of each player – just like any other person in Switzerland.
“We have issued a recommendation that everyone vaccinates. But he decided for himself personally. And it is also his right not to be vaccinated.”
In the comments of his latest Instagram post, Mourinho urged Xhaka to get vaccinated in the wake of his infection.
“Get the jab Granit and be safe,” said the former Premier League manager.
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Mourinho targeted Xhaka in the summer transfer window before he extended his Arsenal contract until 2024.
The Swiss midfielder wanted to join Roma and work under Mourinho, though, according to club director Tiago Pinto.
He said: “The market is closed and today I have fun because we bought so many players but everyone asks me about the midfielder.
“Everyone knows we were after Xhaka, he wanted to come to Roma, but Arsenal didn’t release him. It’s my regret for this transfer market.”
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Xhaka was sent off in Arsenal’s dismal 5-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday.
He saw a straight red for a crunching tackle in the first half as the Gunners lost their third Premier League game of the season.
Xhaka is a key part of Switzerland’s set-up and enjoyed a good showing at Euro 2020.
His nation didn’t miss him on Wednesday, though, as Steven Zuber and Ruben Vargas both scored in a 2-1 win against Greece in an international friendly.
He may also miss the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Northern Ireland, depending on how his COVID-19 recovery goes.
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