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Pogba tests positive for coronavirus

Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba, has been left out of the France squad after testing positive for coronavirus, Didier Deschamps has confirmed.

The 27-year-old had been named in the world champions’ squad for upcoming fixtures against Croatia and Sweden but has now been forced out of consideration for selection.

Speaking at his press conference after the squad announcement, Deschamps said: “I was led, at the very last minute, to make a change in the list. Paul Pobga was in this list. Unfortunately for him, he took a test yesterday, which turned out positive. So at the last moment, I had to replace him with Eduardo Camavinga”.

Pogba has been replaced in Deschamps’ squad by Rennes midfielder Camavinga, while international team-mate Tanguy Ndombele of Tottenham also misses out.

It means Pogba will have to spend 14 days in isolation – meaning he will miss the start of Man Utd’s pre-season preparations, which begin next week following their extended 2019-20 season as they reached the Europa League semi-finals.

However, he should be able to play in United’s first game of the 2020-21 Premier League season, against Crystal Palace on September 19. The Red Devils start their domestic season a week later than most of their rivals to allow them additional rest due to their exploits in Europe.

He is said to be asymptomatic, however the positive test means Deschamps has no option but to leave out one of his key players for the first set of men’s international fixtures played in Europe this calendar year.

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A statement from United read: “Pogba has been replaced in the squad after testing positive for COVID-19. The midfielder will be unable to add to his 69 caps and 10 goals for his country in the games next month. Everybody at United wishes Paul a speedy recovery ahead of the new season.”

On a footballing level, the absence of Pogba and Dembele provides opportunities for teenage talent Camavinga – linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer – and Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, who have been called up to the France senior squad for the first time.

Central defender Dayot Upamecano has also been called up after impressing in RB Leipzig’s run to the Champions League semi-finals. Pogba’s club team mate, Anthony Martial, is also selected.

France travel to Sweden for their first UEFA Nations League encounter on Friday, September 5, before hosting Croatia in a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final on September 8. They are competing in Group C, along with Portugal.

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