Sheffield United reveal the result of John Egan's latest Covid-19 test
Sheffield United centre-half John Egan has tested negative for Covid-19, manager Chris Wilder last night confirmed, as officials at Bramall Lane seek permission to select the Republic of Ireland international against Fulham this weekend.
Despite missing his country’s meetings with Wales and Finland after being declared a close contact of someone found to be a carrier, Egan hopes to take part in Sunday’s Premier League fixture after it emerged he has not contracted the virus himself.
But the complex web of social distancing measures and quarantining procedures adopted by different countries across Europe - and even regions within them - means United have yet to discover if the defender can take part.
“We’re looking at the administration, the protocols and trying to make sure that nobody breaks any Premier League or government rules,” Wilder said. “He’s fit and he’s passed his Covid test. But there’s different administrations we have to deal with and different things we need to look at.
“In one country for example, you’ve got to distance at one-and-a-half metres apart. In another, it’s two metres. In another, it’s something else. These are all the things we’re trying to work through but John wants to play.”
With doubts about the availability of John Fleck, Oliver Burke and David McGoldrick, losing Egan would be a major blow to United’s hopes of securing their first points of the new season by beating Scott Parker’s side. Fulham, who have also lost their opening four outings, were dealt a setback of their own earlier this week when it emerged Joachim Andersen had damaged ligaments during training. The Denmark international, signed on loan from Lyon, is expected to be out of action until next month at the earliest.
Egan’s predicament, coupled with the stress it is placing on the fixture schedule, has prompted Wilder to call for UEFA and FIFA to suspend international football until the pandemic is brought under control.
“I have that view that international football probably should be eased off - one-and-a-half metres in one country, two in another, no crowds and boys flying about all over the place. I’m sure the FA’s will survive.
“I’m a big supporter of international football and love seeing our lads go. But I don’t think there’s many (domestic) managers who are comfortable with what’s going on right now.”