Juventus Star Tests Positive for COVID After Villarreal Game

The rough aftermath of the abrupt Champions League elimination continues for Juventus. The team announced that Manuel Locatelli tested positive for Coronavirus Thursday. Massimiliano Allegri will have just two healthy midfielders available for Sunday’s match versus Salernitana, Arthur and Adrien Rabiot.

The coach voiced some hope that Denis Zakaria would be back soon in the most recent presser. However, he has slim chances to be an option for the next tilt, Sky reports. Locatelli contracting COVID-19 is not great news for Roberto Mancini either. Still, there is enough time for him to clear the protocol ahead of Thursday’s clash with North Macedonia. In any case, the Azzurri starters in the midfield, primarily Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Nicolò Barella, are currently healthy.

Allegri will likely move Rabiot to a more central role to make up for the absence of Locatelli. Danilo can also fill in, as he has done in a pinch in the past. Federico Bernardeschi and Paulo Dybala recently shook their injuries. Their returns allow the gaffer to field Juan Cuadrado as a right-back rather than as a winger.

The Juventus management remained silent following the third straight sendoff in the Round of 16. The same thing happened last season, Tuttomercatoweb informs. The bigwigs were hopeful to go further in Europe especially to improve the club’s finances. According to Calcio e Finanza, advancing to the quarter-finals would have netted at least €15M more. They will receive €78.7M in prize money from UEFA, the second-lowest total out of the last five seasons.