Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Egypt Football Association confirmed, ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualification double-header against Togo.
Sources have told ESPN that the former Chelsea and AS Roma player, who is the Premier League’s joint-leading scorer this season with eight goals, is now likely to have to quarantine in Egypt for a period of seven days in order to comply with the COVID-19 protocols in the country.
Gomez could miss the majority of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a damaged knee tendon.
Salah, who will miss the Premier League clash with Leicester City after the international break and potentially the Champions League home game against Atalanta on Nov 25, is the fifth Liverpool player to be forced out of action due to COVID-19 this season, with Thiago Alcantara, Sadio Mane, Konstantinos Tsimikas and Xherdan Shaqiri also testing positive since the start of the campaign.
The loss of Salah, following the injury to Gomez, in the middle of an international break comes just a month after Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp voiced his frustrations and concerns at the number of international fixtures being played this season.
“I really don’t want to sound disrespectful as we don’t know too much about what other countries are doing, but everyone in this moment wants family around you. You want to keep your players. I’m not saying this is the safest place in the world but it’s the place we know, at least. We know how to deal with the different situations and scenarios,” Klopp said.
“In these moments as a club we are completely alone. As a football club you are alone in this moment.
“We have to make sure we bring the players home in the quickest and safest way because nobody helps us. This is the situation we’re in. It’s really tricky. We try everything to make it right and as safe as possible.