Steve Bruce reacts to 'ludicrous' Miguel Almiron situation at Newcastle United

Steve Bruce has labelled the prospect of losing Miguel Almiron to quarantine as “ludicrous”.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 4:45 pm

Almiron is set to be called up for World Cup qualifiers against Chile away and Colombia at home next month.

However, Paraguay and Chile are on the Government’s “red list” of countries, and returning travellers must complete a 10-day period of Covid-19 isolation. Crucially, there’s no exemption for professional athletes.

Premier League clubs are able to stop players going away on international duty if they will be subject to quarantine on their return, but Bruce is reluctant to block a call-up for Almiron, who has scored four goals this season.

A number of players will potentially be affected by the rules, and the Premier League is in discussions with Government officials over possible exemptions.

Asked if he would lose Almiron for two games, Bruce said: “We sincerely hope not. I think we’re going to have to be guided by the Premier League, and what they suggest, It’s ludicrous (that Almiron could miss two games).

"We’re aware that they’re World Cup qualifiers. It’s that awful balancing act. We are in the worldwide pandemic, but we’ll be guided by the Premier League, and will try to get assurances from them as to what is required – and what is not.”

Miguel Almiron.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has voiced his concerns over international travel.

“The Premier League should be concerned about this,’ said Guardiola. “Something is going to rise, unfortunately. I would love to say it’s not going to happen, but it’s already happened in two or three waves. The moment you take planes, everything can happen.

“The experience shows us the only way to be safe is don’t move, to be tested a lot and stay at home. If you move, you risk to be contaminated.

"The reason there is no cases in the Premier League is because people don’t move – be at home and the training centre. When we relax a bit, it will come back again.”

There was a Covid-19 outbreak at Newcastle late last year which affected a number of players and members of staff.

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