Genoa confirm 14 positive cases of coronavirus

By Sports Desk September 28, 2020

Serie A side Genoa have announced 14 people at the club have returned positive tests for coronavirus.

The cases, from among the playing squad and other staff, were confirmed following the 6-0 league defeat to Napoli on Sunday.

"The club has activated all the procedures as per the protocol and informed the authorities. The club will give updates as the situation evolves," Genoa said in a statement on Monday.

This news means Saturday's scheduled game against Torino could now be in doubt.

It also means Napoli will likely need to carry out tests of their squad before Sunday's clash with champions Juventus.

Sampdoria also confirmed on Monday that forward Keita Balde had tested positive for COVID-19 and will now follow the necessary health protocols.

The player is due to join Sampdoria from Monaco this week on loan.

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    Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be ready to extend his contract at Milan after a fine start to the season. 

    Ibrahimovic returned to the Serie A club in January, extending his deal in August through until the end of the 2020-21 season. 

    However, the veteran striker could be set to remain at the club for longer, per speculation in Italy.

     

    TOP STORY – IBRAHIMOVIC COULD RENEW AT MILAN UNTIL 2022

    Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola is already studying a plan to extend the striker's deal at Milan until 2022, according to Corriere della Sera.

    The 39-year-old has scored four goals in two Serie A games for league leaders Milan this season, including a brace in the derby win over rivals Inter at the weekend.

    Ibrahimovic netted 10 goals and provided five assists in 18 league appearances in 2019-20.

    ROUND-UP

    - Unhappy about being left on the bench against Crotone, Paulo Dybala's future at Juventus is again a subject of interest. However, Tuttosport reports the aim is still for the playmaker – who is contracted until 2022 – to renew his deal before January.

    - Barcelona could be set for good news. Goal reports Barcelona are working on new deals for Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet after agreeing to a contract with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Meanwhile, AS says Gerard Pique is ready to accept a pay cut.

    - Phil Jones is yet to play for Manchester United this season and could leave in January. The Sun reports United could demand £20million for the defender, who is contracted until 2023.

    - Maurizio Sarri could be set for a return to coaching. CalcioMercato reports the former Juventus and Chelsea boss is a target for Fiorentina amid pressure on Giuseppe Iachini after the club collected just four points from their opening four Serie A games of the season.

    - Out of contract at Marseille at season's end, Florian Thauvin could be set for a move. Le 10 Sport says Milan are interested in the forward.

    - With Virgil van Dijk out due to a serious knee injury, Liverpool could be looking for a defender in January. Football Insider says Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White remains on the Premier League champions' radar.

  • Ibrahimovic has 'shifted the balance more' in Italy than Ronaldo Ibrahimovic has 'shifted the balance more' in Italy than Ronaldo

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had a greater impact on Italian football than Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Milan and Juventus head coach Alberto Zaccheroni. 

    The 39-year-old has made a considerable impact since rejoining Milan in January, scoring 11 goals in 20 appearances in the second half of the 2019-20 campaign.

    He has been in equally impressive form this season despite missing almost a month after contracting COVID-19, taking his tally to four goals in just two games with a double against Inter at the weekend. 

    One of the best strikers of his generation, Ibrahimovic spent two years with Milan earlier in his distinguished career, a stint that included securing the Serie A title in 2011. 

    Ronaldo, meanwhile, has been just as prolific since he joined Juve from Real Madrid in 2018, scoring 68 goals in 91 appearances across all competitions. 

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    "I have coached great champions in my career, from [Oliver] Bierhoff to [George] Weah up to Adriano but the only regret I have is that I never trained Ibrahimovic," he told Il Giornale.

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    Paulo Dybala was "angry" at being left on the bench for Juventus' draw at Crotone but is again available for the Bianconeri's Champions League opener against Dynamo Kiev, says head coach Andrea Pirlo.

    Argentina forward Dybala has yet to feature in Serie A this season, although he was named in the XI for the side to face Napoli in a match that never took place when their opponents were unable to fulfil the fixture due to travel issues caused by coronavirus restrictions.

    Dybala has been contending with a muscular injury and Pirlo had planned to give him some game time in the 1-1 draw against Crotone only for a sending off for Federico Chiesa on debut to complicate his plans.

    Reports said Dybala had an angry confrontation with Juve's chief football officer Fabio Paratici in the tunnel and Pirlo explained his side of events.

    "I talked to him [Dybala] yesterday as I do to everyone else. He was a bit angry for not having played in Crotone but we have to remember that he hasn't played for three months," Pirlo said. 

    "He spent 10 days in his room in Argentina taking medicines because he couldn't train. 

    "I took him to Crotone to let him do a few minutes but unfortunately there were 10 of us left and I couldn't add him. He is available and we will see what to do."

    On Tuesday, rookie coach Pirlo will pit his wits against a man set to become the oldest to lead a team in the Champions League in the form of 75-year-old old Mircea Lucescu.

    Lucescu is the man who gave a 16-year-old Pirlo his debut at Brescia and later signed him for Inter.

    Pirlo spoke fondly of his former boss and revealed he is still in contact with him.

    "Lucescu was my first coach, he put me in the first team at the age of 15 and I made my debut at 16," he added. 

    "I have a wonderful memory of him as a coach and as a person, sometimes we still talk. I will forever be thankful to him. It will be a good challenge between us."

    Asked how he was feeling ahead of his Champions League debut as a coach, Pirlo replied: "I am calm and serene. I'm looking forward to my first match as a coach in the Champions League. 

    "In this competition it is essential to start with a win, and we know what we have to do."

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