Spanish giants Real Madrid have suffered a major setback ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Liverpool after defender Raphael Varane tested positive for Covid-19.
Varane, 28, could now miss both legs of Madrid’s clash with Liverpool as well as El Clasico against Barcelona this weekend in what could be a season-defining week for Zinedine Zidane’s men.
Los Blancos confirmed the news in a statement on their website, which 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.”
It leaves them facing a defensive shortage against Klopp’s men with captain Sergio Ramos already ruled out because of injury.
Varane, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool this summer, was an unused substitute for Madrid at the weekend against Eibar as Zidane rested him ahead of the clash against the Reds, with Nacho and Eder Militao instead lining up at centre-half in a back three alongside Ferland Mendy.
The pair – Nacho and Militao – are now likely to retain their place for the clash tonight against Jurgen Klopp’s men who are also without a number of key defenders, including the talismanic Virgil Van Dijk.