Real Madrid star Raphael Varane will miss tonight’s Champions League game against Liverpool after testing positive for coronavirus.
Zinedine Zidane will be without both of his first-choice centre-backs for the visit of Liverpool, with Sergio Ramos also sidelined.
Much has been made of Madrid’s injury woes, with Eden Hazard, Dani Carvajal and Federico Valverde all doubts for the game.
Varane testing positive so close to the game will no doubt have given Zidane a last-minute headache with his team selection.
Madrid players were given a final coronavirus test on Tuesday morning ahead of the clash, with all players returning negative tests.
Varane was the only member of the playing staff to test positive.
The French centre-back will join his partner Ramos on the sidelines, after the latter picked up an injury during the international break.
In a club statement, Madrid confirmed the news but offered little more detail.
The statement read: “Real Madrid CF informs that our player Raphaël Varane has given a positive result in the COVID-19 test that has been carried out this morning.”
As well as the Champions League tie with Liverpool, Varane will also miss out on this weekend’s El Classico against Barcelona.
With the return leg against the Premier League champions just eight days away, the Frenchman faces a race against time to recover.
The positive test is just the latest in a series of setbacks for Madrid, but speaking at his pre-match press conference Zidane didn’t seem to be concerned.
He expressed confidence in the players he had at his disposal – prior to Varane’s positive test – saying: “We have a lot of players missing, but our strength is in the squad. I believe that’s the case.
“There’s always going to be someone missing with what’s happening this year, and it’s the same at Liverpool”.