Following an admission from the Fédération Guinéenne de Football that they had to cancel a friendly against Gambia as they were reduced to just nine players who had not tested positive for coronavirus, the assumption was that Naby Keïta was amongst those ruled out.
This was in part due to reports out of Guinea over the weekend that claimed the 25-year-old Liverpool midfielder was one of five players who had tested positive at the time as part of a first wave for the national team. However, today the situation is looking far different.
Whether or not Keïta tested positive previously, Guinean journalist Amadou Makadji is now reporting he tested negative for COVID-19 in the latest round of tests and has been allowed to depart the Guinean camp to return to Liverpool ahead of Saturday’s derby match.
If both the earlier reports of a positive test and now of a negative one are true, it would make Keïta’s the second such case after Xherdan Shaqiri returned a positive test on joining up with Switzerland only to enter self-isolation and then later return a negative test.
With Shaqiri, it appears to have been a case of the player having previously contracted the virus and recovered, resulting in a false positive return. While the details around Keïta’s situation remain unclear, a return to the club should at least bring some clarity.