Spain add 11 U21 players to ‘parallel training bubble’ before Euro 2020 amid Covid-19 fears

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<p>Spain manager Luis Enrique has seen two players test positive for Covid</p> (Getty Images)

Spain manager Luis Enrique has seen two players test positive for Covid

(Getty Images)

Spain have increased the size of their “parallel training bubble” to 17 players after Diego Llorente became the second man in their main Euro 2020 squad to test positive for Covid-19.

Captain Sergio Busquets also tested positive on Sunday, forcing the country’s 24-man Euros squad into isolation and leading to them withdrawing from Tuesday’s final warm-up friendly against Lithuania in Seville.

Leeds defender Llorente’s positive test was confirmed on Tuesday night and, like the rest of the squad, he will now work to an individual training schedule.

Spain, who kick off their Euro 2020 campaign against Group E rivals Sweden on Monday, are fearful of the virus spreading throughout the squad and have created a separate group of players to train in a parallel bubble.

That originally started out with five members including West Ham midfielder Pablo Fornals, but has now grown to 17.

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga flew out to join the group on Wednesday and on Thursday 11 Spain Under-21 players were added also.

It was the U21s who stepped in against Lithuania on Wednesday night as the senior side were unable to fulfil the fixture. They won 4-0 with an impressive display.

Those 17 players are not staying at Spain’s Las Rozas training base and they are not involved with the rest of the preparations of the main Euros squad, who are currently isolating.

Spain, like other countries, submitted their final squad list for Euro 2020 earlier this month, but Uefa guidelines say there can be unlimited replacements before the first match “in the event of serious injury or illness (including Covid-19 or 'close contact' to a positive case).”

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