New Barcelona signing Miralem Pjanic has tested positive for coronavirus, and will not start training with the club until Monday 7 September.
Pjanic arrived at Camp Nou in a player-plus-cash deal that saw Arthur Melo head to Juventus. The transfer was heavily criticised, with many feeling Barca were getting the short end of the stick in swapping a prodigious Brazilian midfielder for a 30-year-old whose form has wavered over the past 12 months, but it was sanctioned by the Catalan club in order to keep themselves on the right side of UEFA’s FFP regulations.
Pjanic’s new team-mates have been returning for pre-season in increments throughout August, but the club have confirmed the Bosnian has become the latest high-profile footballer to test positive for COVID-19, which will delay his arrival by 15 days.
He will now not train with Barça until at least 7 September, which puts him in doubt for the first round of La Liga fixtures which kick off four days later.
A Barca statement reads: “Miralem Pjanic has tested positive in the PCR test he underwent on Saturday, August 22, after having some discomfort. The player is in good health and is isolated at home.
“For this reason, the player will not travel to Barcelona for 15 days to join the Barça discipline.”
Ahead of the 2019/20 La Liga season resuming in June, it was reported that five players had tested positive for the virus across Spain’s top two divisions. There have been no confirmed cases among professional footballers in Spain since, but with real fears of a second wave emerging all over the country, any potential risk is being treated with caution.
Latest figures show 386,000 confirmed cases in Spain, with almost 29,000 deaths linked to the virus in the country.