Valencia, Espanyol, Mallorca confirm positive tests for coronavirus

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Valencia, Espanyol and Real Mallorca all reported positive cases for coronavirus on Tuesday, as Spanish clubs begin returning for pre-season.

Valencia confirmed two individuals have been infected while tests at Espanyol and Mallorca, who have both been relegated to the second division, revealed one positive case each.

The identities of the individuals have been kept anonymous. They are all isolating at home and the Spanish health authorities have been notified.

According to La Liga protocol for returning teams, training at all three clubs will have to be done individually until a second round of tests is carried out.

It continues a rise in the number of confirmed infections among La Liga sides 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's top flight 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 is 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 coach 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 percent 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 La Liga 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."

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