Wayne Rooney has reportedly taken an emergency coronavirus test after coming into close contact with an infected friend.
According to The Sun, the friend had been contacted by Test and Trace before he visited the Derby forward at home last Thursday to deliver him a luxury watch.
The report adds the friend later tested positive for Covid-19.
Rooney, who is “angry and disappointed” about the situation, was completely unaware and played in Derby’s defeat by Watford on Friday night.
Rooney, 34, provided a statement to The Sun in which he made clear he had not been told by his friend, or anyone else, before his visit that he had been instructed to take a coronavirus test. And that had he known he would have refused to see him.
The statement adds: “Wayne is angry and disappointed that he, his family and his club have been put in this position by someone acting secretly and in breach of government and NHS guidelines. He is now taking a coronavirus test as a result.”
Government guidelines state that people should self-isolate for 14 days if they are contacted by Test and Trace.
It is not yet clear whether Derby and Watford players, who came into close contact with Rooney on Friday, will now also need to be tested.
Rooney hit out at the government and football authorities back in March, complaining that players were being used as “Guinea pigs”.
The former England captain wrote in the Sunday Times: “The rest of sport – tennis, Formula 1, rugby, golf, football in other countries – was closing down and we were being told to carry on.
“I think a lot of footballers were wondering, ‘Is it something to do with money being involved in this?’. Why did we wait until Friday? Why did it take Mikel Arteta to get ill for the game in England to do the right thing?
“After the emergency meeting, at last the right decision was made – until then it almost felt like footballers in England were being treated like guinea pigs.
“I know how I feel. If any of my family get infected through me because I’ve had to play when it’s not safe, and they get seriously ill, I’d have to think hard about ever playing again. I would never forgive the authorities.”
A spokesman for Derby said in a statement to Mirror Sport: “Derby County Football Club is aware of a report in a national newspaper relating to a member of the club’s playing squad being in contact with an individual which has tested positive for COVID-19.
“On being made aware of this news the club has ensured that the appropriate measures were taken in line with strict EFL COVID-19 protocols and UK Government guidelines, which the club is operating under.
“The club will continue to adhere to the COVID-19 rules and protocols to ensure that the safest possible environment is provided for its players and staff. The club will make no further comment unless a further update is required in relation to this matter.”