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Barcelona’s COVID-19 outbreak swells to 10 players; Sergino Dest tests positive

Rebecca Lowe, Tim Howard and Robbie Mustoe recap a big day in the Premier League title race, as Chelsea's draw and Man City's win increased the gap between first and second to eight points.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Barcelona squad swelled to 10, potentially jeopardizing the team’s return to league play after Spain’s winter break of nearly two weeks as USMNT star Sergino Dest is impacted.

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Dest, Philippe Coutinho and Abde Ezzalzouli are the latest players to contract COVID-19, Barcelona said.

They are self-isolating at home and the team said they were “in good health.”

The club already announced this week that Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti, Gavi, Jordi Alba, Alejandro Balde, Clement Lenglet and Dani Alves had tested positive and were isolating.

Barcelona is also depleted by injuries going into Sunday’s match at Mallorca in seventh place.

Real Madrid said Wednesday that four players - Vinicius Jr., Thibaut Courtois, Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga - tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Sunday’s game against Getafe.

During the break, USMNT defender Dest and Vinicius had posted photos on Instagram of their respective trips to Miami.

They included court-side photos at a Miami Heat basketball game and pictures with star Jimmy Butler. Vinicius’ account included one of him with Heat guard Tyler Herro. They all wore masks in the photos.

On Wednesday, the Heat was unable to meet the NBA’s requirement of eight available players for the game against San Antonio, leading to it being postponed.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Miami had 12 players listed as out because of a combination of injuries and positive virus tests.


French club Angers asked the soccer league to postpone its home game against Saint-Etienne on Jan. 9 because of a high number of coronavirus cases.

Angers said there were 19 confirmed cases among its squad of 30 players and that more than 10 will not be authorized to play again until Jan. 10. Angers added that a further five staff members have the virus.

Angers had five players out with COVID-19 when it lost at Montpellier 4-1 on Dec. 22 before the winter break.

Strasbourg said coach Julien Stephan has the virus but is showing no symptoms.

Meanwhile, Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta wrote on Instagram that he tested positive on vacation in Dubai and is isolating there.