Paris Saint-Germain will be without Marco Verratti for at least seven days after the Italy international tested positive for COVID-19 with the French champions facing Lille OSC and Bayern Munich inside that timeframe.
Mauricio Pochettino's men meet LOSC in Ligue 1 on Saturday in a meeting of France's top two this season while next midweek sees PSG travel to Germany for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie with Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena.
The 28-year-old is a key figure at Parc des Princes and his absence will hurt the team with the possibility that more of his Parisien teammates might join him in testing positive, notably Alessandro Florenzi who was part of the Azzurri squad with Verratti that has also seen Leonardo Bonucci and staff members return positive tests recently.
Suite au dernier test PCR Sars-Cov2, Marco Verratti est confirmé positif. Il va donc respecter l’isolement et est soumis au protocole sanitaire approprié.— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) April 2, 2021
"Following the last Sars-Cov2 PCR test, Marco Verratti is confirmed positive," read an official PSG statement. "He will therefore respect isolation and is subject to the appropriate health protocol."
If Robert Lewandowski's absence for Bayern was a big blow for the reigning German and European champions, then Verratti missing out will be equally problematic for the French capital outfit.
The Italian maestro is highly influential and played an important role in PSG's 4-1 first leg success away at Barcelona in the UCL round of 16 with an all-action performance.
Marco Verratti and Abdou Diallo have returned positive tests for COVID-19.— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 29, 2021
They will start a period of isolation and are subject to the appropriate health protocols.
Regularly deployed in a higher position under Pochettino, Verratti is the chief playmaker and his unavailability for both Lille and Bayern could seriously hamper their chances in both encounters.
Curiously, this is not the first time this year that Verratti has returned a positive COVID-19 test with he and Abdou Diallo both put into isolation in late January.