Man City report three more positive Covid-19 tests as keeper options narrow

Date published: Wednesday 6th January 2021 10:55 - Matthew Briggs

Manchester City have confirmed two more players and a member of staff have tested positive for coronavirus.

Back-up goalkeeper Scott Carson and 18-year-old midfielder Cole Palmer are the latest members of the squad affected by the recent Covid-19 outbreak at the club and will now isolate.

They take the number of City players to have tested positive since Christmas Day to eight.

A statement from the club read: “Manchester City FC can confirm that Scott Carson, Cole Palmer and one member of staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

“Both personnel will now observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine.

“Everyone at the club wishes Scott, Cole and all of our other colleagues a speedy recovery ahead of their return to work, training and competition.”

With first-choice goalkeeper Ederson being one of the other players already isolating, news of veteran Carson’s positive test leaves City short of options in that position for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final at Manchester United.

 

 

Zack Steffen is set to play again after featuring in Sunday’s victory at Chelsea with 18-year-old James Trafford, who has been involved in a Champions League squad this season, possibly coming onto the bench.

The Covid-19 outbreak at City forced the postponement of their Premier League game at Everton on December 28 and left them without six players at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

As well as Ederson, Ferran Torres, Tommy Doyle and Eric Garcia are the other players currently isolating. Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus, who tested positive on Christmas Day, have now completed their quarantine.

Bell tribute

Meanwhile, Manchester City players will pay tribute to former midfielder Colin Bell ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final tie against rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford after the death of the club’s own ‘king’.

City announced Bell had “passed away peacefully” on Tuesday afternoon aged 74 following a “short, non-Covid related illness”.

Former England international Bell made 492 appearances and scored 152 goals for City during his 13-year stay after joining from Bury in 1966, helping secure promotion to the top flight.

Bell was one of City’s stand-out players as they edged out Manchester United to win the First Division title in 1968.

FA Cup success followed in 1969 as well as two more trophies in 1970 – the League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Bell was the club’s top scorer three times.

Bell earned the nickname ‘The King of the Kippax’ after one of the terraces at their former Maine Road home, and has a stand named after him at the Etihad Stadium following a fans’ vote.

FA Cup success followed in 1969 as well as two more trophies in 1970 – the League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Bell was the club’s top scorer three times.

The current players are set to wear a retro number eight shirt before kick-off at Old Trafford on Wednesday night in honour of the man many regard as simply the best.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said Bell was “a player held in the highest regard” and “the passage of time does little to erase the memories of his genius”.

READ MORE: Guardiola warns Man Utd how seriously Man City are taking Carabao Cup

 

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