There is a coronavirus outbreak at Atlético Madrid.
After a round of testing on Wednesday, Atlético confirmed Thursday morning that Moussa Dembélé tested positive for the virus, and the French striker has entered isolation as part of LaLiga’s COVID-19 protocols. He is the fourth Atlético player in less than a week to return a positive test, the 24-year-old joining Yannick Carrasco, Mario Hermoso, and João Félix on the sidelines.
In all, 11 first-team players — plus coach Diego Simeone — have contracted COVID-19 since last May. Santiago Arias and Diego Costa had COVID, too, when they played for the club.
Dembélé was in line to make his club debut on Monday against Celta Vigo, but now has no choice other than waiting until he tests negative. His absence leaves Ángel Correa and Luis Suárez as Simeone’s only established forwards, and it further complicates what is already looking like a difficult month ahead for the rojiblancos.
Cholo’s men have a 10-point lead in LaLiga, but are losing players left and right and have a Champions League commitment against Chelsea to honor in less than three weeks. Travel restrictions from the United Kingdom might mean Atleti will have to seek another location to play the first leg against Thomas Tuchel’s men.
We’ll have to wait and see if any more positive tests emerge in the coming hours, who could be closest to a return, and whether LaLiga will take any action that isn’t inaction.