Valencia confirm two positive tests for coronavirus as players and staff return for pre-season

The identities of the two individuals have been kept anonymous and both are isolating at home

WATFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Watford head coach Javi Gracia looks on during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Manchester United at Vicarage Road on September 15, 2018 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) FILE: Watford Confirm Departure Of Manager Javi Gracia.
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La Liga club Valencia confirmed on Tuesday that coronavirus testing conducted on players and staff upon returning to pre-season revealed two positive cases.

The identities of the two individuals have been kept anonymous. They are both isolating at home while the club has notified the Spanish health authorities.

It continues a rise in the number of confirmed infections among La Liga teams after Atletico Madrid's Sime Vrsaljko and Angel Correa both tested positive on Saturday.

Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz and Sevilla midfielder Nemanja Gudelj have also been infected in the last two weeks.

La Liga completed the 2019/20 season on July 19 and the plan is for the 2020/21 campaign to begin on September 12, following the conclusion of the Champions League and Europa League.

Spain has been one of the worst-hit countries by the pandemic and has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks. The Spanish health ministry on Monday reported 8,618 new coronavirus infections since Friday and 65 deaths from the virus over the previous seven days.

Valencia were starting their pre-season preparations this week under new manager Javi Gracia, who was appointed two weeks ago following the sacking of Albert Celades in June.

They were one of the first clubs to confirm cases of coronavirus in March, when 35 per cent of the squad, including players and coaches, tested positive after playing a Champions League match against Atalanta in Italy at the end of February.

Valencia finished ninth in La Liga after a miserable season for the club, during which supporters grew increasingly disillusioned with the ownership of Singaporean businessman Peter Lim.

A club statement on Tuesday confirmed the two positive cases for coronavirus. "The PCR and blood serum tests carried out on Monday for the first team, coaching staff and employees have detected two positive cases of COVID-19," it read.

"Those who have tested positive will remain isolated in their homes, in accordance with LaLiga and club protocols. The health authorities have been informed immediately of their status.

"From the start of this health crisis, Valencia have given special importance to measures to halt the expansion of the pandemic, and will maintain a strict protocol to which all members of the club are completely committed."