Xherdan Shaqiri had been due to link up with his country for the latest round of friendly UEFA Nations league fixtures. He has, however, been forced to withdraw from Vladimir Petkovic’s plans after contracting coronavirus.

A statement from the Swiss FA read: “Xherdan Shaqiri has tested positive for Covid-19. In consultation with the health authorities, he is in isolation.

“The strict protective measures and requirements of UEFA for national teams in accordance with the ‘UEFA Return to Play Protocol’ have been strictly adhered to. Based on this, clarifications are currently underway with the local health authorities about how to proceed.”

Switzerland are due to face Croatia in a friendly on Wednesday and they then have testing away dates in the Nations League to come against Spain and Germany.

The first of those contests is due to take place on October 10, with a trip to Cologne being made three days later, but Shaqiri will be forced to sit out those fixtures as he recuperates at home.

He is not the first player on Liverpool’s books to have tested positive for coronavirus, with two other leading lights having already been ruled out of Jurgen Klopp’s plans.

Summer signing Thiago Alcantra was the first one to pick up the virus, meaning that he has seen just one substitute outing for the Reds so far – in a Premier League win at Chelsea.

Sadio Mane has also taken in an enforced break at Anfield, with the Senegalese forward absent from the crushing 7-2 defeat that the reigning English champions suffered against Aston Villa last time out.

Shaqiri also played no part in that contest, with it expected that he would be on the move before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Interest was shown in the former Bayern Munich and Inter star, but no deal was put in place.

That means that he will be drafted back into Klopp’s squad when Liverpool return to domestic action after the international break with a derby date against Merseyside neighbours Everton.

The author is a member of staff and heads the sports and business desks at The Correspondent. He mainly lives in the shadows as a ghost writer so you may have read his work and not even known it. He can be reached at asadqasim@thecorrespondent.pk


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