Miralem Pjanic’s hopes of making a flying start to his Barcelona career have been dealt a blow after he tested positive for coronavirus, preventing him from travelling to Spain.
The summer signing from Juventus was due to link up with his new teammates at the end of the week but will instead be forced to self-isolate for the next fortnight before flying to Barcelona.
A statement from the Spanish giants on Sunday explained: ‘Miralem Pjanic tested positive in a PCR taken on Saturday 22 August after feeling a little unwell. The player is in good health and is self-isolating at home.
‘The player will therefore not be travelling to Barcelona for 15 days, when he will be expected to report for duty with the FC Barcelona team.’
The news will be a big blow for Pjanic’s hopes of impressing new boss Ronald Koeman, who begins his first week in charge of the Catalan club this week.
Initially Koeman will only be working with players who did not participate in the Champions League, such as Rafinha, Pedri, Martin Braithwaite and Juan Miranda.
It had been suggested that Pjanic might join them in an effort to adapt to his new club as quickly as possible, but that will no longer be possible.
Despite only exiting the Champions League a little over a week ago, Barca’s first-team stars will be expected to report back to the club’s training ground next Sunday for coronavirus testing.
The first training session with the whole squad will then take place on Monday, barely a fortnight after losing 8-2 to Bayern Munich, though Pjanic will have to wait another week after that before he can meet up with his new teammates.
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