Xherdan Shaqiri has been given the green light to feature for Switzerland in Saturday's Nations League clash against Spain in Madrid after another negative test for coronavirus.

The Liverpool winger was originally set to miss the double header against Spain and Germany after testing positive for COVID-19, which meant he sat out the 2-1 friendly defeat to Croatia on Wednesday.

However, when a later test came back negative Shaqiri was granted permission to travel to Spain, although his availability for the clash remained unclear.

The Swiss Football Association confirmed on Friday that Shaqiri has now been cleared to play.

A statement read: "The Spanish health authority gave the green light late on Friday evening for Xherdan Shaqiri to play in the UEFA Nations League game on Saturday 10 October 2020 between Spain and Switzerland in Madrid. 

"The decisive factor was the national player's additional negative COVID-19 test, which has been available since tonight [Friday].

"In addition to Shaqiri, all players and staff members of the Swiss national team were also tested negative in Madrid."

Switzerland forward Xherdan Shaqiri has tested negative for coronavirus and has been granted permission to travel to Spain ahead of Saturday's Nations League clash.

Shaqiri became the third Liverpool player in the space of a week to test positive for the virus on Tuesday and was ruled out of Switzerland's 2-1 friendly loss to Croatia on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old was also expected to sit out the games against Spain and Germany in the Nations League over the next five days but his latest test has come back negative, though he is still awaiting the green light from UEFA to play in both games.

However, team-mate Manuel Akanji - who like Shaqiri has spent time self-isolating - has once again tested positive, which could have a knock-on effect for club side Borussia Dortmund.

"The Swiss Football Association received this morning the written results of the national team A Covid-19 tests carried out yesterday on all players and staff," a statement read. 

"Only Manuel Akanji tested positive. All other tests are negative, including that of Xherdan Shaqiri. 

"There is currently only one positive case for the coronavirus in the national team. Akanji is in isolation and still has no symptoms. Other medical examinations are underway. 

"All other national team players and staff will fly to Spain this afternoon, where the UEFA Nations League game against the Group A leaders takes place on Saturday.

"Following Xherdan Shaqiri's negative Covid-19 test, the UEFA health committee must now decide on his eligibility to play on Saturday. 

"At this stage, it is impossible to know when the decision will be taken. Shaqiri flies to Spain as planned."

Shaqiri has played just once for Liverpool this season and has yet to feature in a Premier League matchday squad.

Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara are the other two Liverpool players to have contracted COVID-19 over the past fortnight.

Xherdan Shaqiri has become the third Liverpool player to test positive for coronavirus over the past week.

The forward, who remained at Anfield despite having been linked to the likes of Sevilla and Lazio ahead of deadline day, travelled to link up with the Switzerland squad on Monday.

However, the Swiss Football Association on Tuesday revealed Shaqiri returned a positive test for COVID-19 and he will now undergo a period of self-isolation.

"Xherdan Shaqiri has tested positive for Covid-19. In consultation with the health authorities, he is in isolation," a statement read.

"The strict protective measures and requirements of UEFA for national teams in accordance with the 'UEFA Return to Play Protocol' have been strictly adhered to since the move began.

"Based on this, clarifications are currently underway with the local health authorities about how to proceed."

Shaqiri consequently misses Switzerland's friendly against Croatia and Nations League fixtures with Spain and Germany.

He is the third player in Liverpool's squad to test positive for the virus since last week, with Thiago Alcantara – who arrived from Bayern Munich in the transfer window – confirming he had contracted COVID-19 last Tuesday.

It was then revealed Sadio Mane had also tested positive last Friday, with Liverpool then going on to lose 7-2 at Aston Villa on Sunday.

All three players could still play against Everton in the Merseyside derby on October 17, though, as protocols require those with positive tests to go through a quarantine period of 10 days.

Xherdan Shaqiri appears to be on his way out of Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp confirmed he was left out of the EFL Cup defeat to Arsenal on Thursday because something had happened "in the background".

The Switzerland international was expected to start the clash with Arsenal at Anfield after impressing in last week's third-round clash with Lincoln City, in which he scored a stunning free-kick. 

Harry Wilson was selected in his place, however, with Klopp saying after the game - which the Gunners won 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in normal time - he had no option but to leave the former Stoke City man out of the squad. 

When asked about Shaqiri's absence, Klopp told Sky Sports: "Some were not involved. It is the time of the year when some things happen in the background and you have to react. That is what we did."

Liverpool were much changed from their 3-1 win over Arsenal in the Premier League three days earlier and, despite the defeat, Klopp saw plenty in the performance to be excited about.

"If there would have been a winner in 90 minutes it should have been us but we are not in dreamland," he said. "You have to score.

"I liked a lot of parts of the game. We mixed it up a lot and I saw a proper performance. A penalty shoot-out is tricky, everyone knows that.

"I really liked how the boys did it. There were a lot of good individual performances.

"It could have been a Premier League game but here or there we lacked the last pass. There were not a lot of chances in this game because there was a lot of work from both teams closing each other down."

Curtis Jones and Takumi Minamino struck braces as a much-changed Liverpool cruised past Lincoln City 7-2 in an entertaining EFL Cup third-round clash on Thursday. 

Jurgen Klopp made 10 changes from the side that beat Chelsea 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday, with only Virgil van Dijk keeping his place, but they still had more than enough firepower to swat aside their League One opponents. 

Xherdan Shaqiri got the visitors on their way inside the opening 10 minutes, whipping a superb free-kick into the top-right corner, before a fine strike from Minamino and a double from Jones made it 4-0 at the break. 

Minamino added a fifth immediately after the restart before Tayo Edun pulled one back for the Imps on the hour mark.

Marko Grujic and Lewis Montsma then exchanged quick-fire goals, while Divock Origi added a seventh late on as Liverpool – who handed Diogo Jota a debut from the substitutes' bench in the second half – set up a fourth-round clash with Arsenal at Anfield next week. 

Liverpool, who included debutants Rhys Williams and Konstantinos Tsimikas in their starting XI, wasted little time asserting their authority as Shaqiri registered his first goal since December 4 with a sublime free-kick from 22 yards in the ninth minute.

The Reds doubled their advantage after 18 minutes when a sloppy pass out from the back by Montsma found its way to Minamino, who sent a strike into Alex Palmer's top-left corner from 20 yards. 

Jones added a third shortly after the half-hour mark, curling home from inside the penalty area after being picked out by Divock Origi's downwards header. 

The 19-year-old claimed his second just four minutes later when his effort from outside the area clipped off Timothy Eyoma and flew past Palmer.

Any thoughts that Klopp's men would take it easy in the second period were extinguished after just 18 seconds when Minamino volleyed into an empty net after Harvey Elliott had been denied by Palmer.

The Imps started to pour forward in search of a consolation and it duly arrived on the hour mark when Edun coolly slotted past Adrian from inside the area.

Grujic plundered his first Liverpool goal from 20 yards in the 65th minute before Montsma took advantage of Adrian's woeful goalkeeping to head home Lincoln's second just a minute later.

Origi then wrapped up the scoring a minute from time when his strike from 15 yards slipped through the grasp of Palmer. 

Lionel Messi is reportedly set to re-sign with Barcelona.

The Argentina star is out of contract at Camp Nou next year, but is seemingly set to extend his stay with the LaLiga giants a little longer.

Messi, 32, has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona – and he may yet end up a one-club player.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI TO EXTEND BARCELONA CONTRACT UNTIL 2023

Messi will extend his contract at Barcelona until 2023, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says the forward will get to decide if he wants to leave the club before then.

Messi is enjoying another fine season with Barcelona, scoring 26 goals in 33 games in all competitions.

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham want to hold onto their stars. The Telegraph reports chairman Daniel Levy is eager to keep Spurs' best players, including Harry Kane – who has been linked to Real Madrid – and Dele Alli and Son Heung-min.

- It remains to be seen if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Arsenal. CalcioMercato reports the forward – out of contract until 2021 – is open to a move to Inter, but the Gabon international is not among the Serie A club's top choices if they need to replace Lautaro Martinez, who is wanted by Barcelona.

- Madrid are reportedly eager to sign Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga. But Sport says the Ligue 1 club are working to extend the the 17-year-old's contract, with his deal running until 2022.

- Liverpool could be set to make changes. The Sun reports Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Dejan Lovren could make exits, while Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson may leave on permanent deals. It also says Liverpool are set to give Naby Keita one more season to prove his worth.

- Borussia Dortmund seem some way off landing Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. Bild reports the Bundesliga club have offered just a little more than €20million (£17.9m) for Bellingham, who reportedly has a release clause of €35m (£31.4m).

- Empoli midfielder Samuele Ricci is reportedly catching the eye. CalcioMercato says Milan have kept an eye on the 18-year-old, while Napoli and Borussia Dortmund are also said to be interested.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba returning to Juventus is apparently shaping as impossible.

Pogba, 27, has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with Juventus and Real Madrid reportedly interested in landing the midfielder.

But it seems the Serie A giants will find such a deal impossible.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA RETURNING TO JUVENTUS IS IMPOSSIBLE

Pogba leaving Manchester United to return to Juventus is looking impossible, according to Sport and Corriere dello Sport.

Sport says the Bianconeri cannot afford the €100million (£89m) United would want for the France international.

Pogba left Juve to join United for £89m (€105m) in 2016.

ROUND-UP

- James Rodriguez is pushing for a stay in the Spanish capital. Mundo Deportivo reports the Real Madrid playmaker is determined to sign for Atletico Madrid.

- Real Madrid may be looking for a back-up in his position, but Casemiro is seemingly going nowhere. Marca claims the midfielder recently extended his contract until 2023.

- Odion Ighalo is set for a return to China. The Mirror reports the striker is expecting to go back to Shanghai Shenhua from his loan spell at Manchester United after just eight appearances for the Premier League club, with the Chinese Super League side demanding he returns. Goal says United will focus on RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner and Lyon's Moussa Dembele with Ighalo leaving.

- Forget trying to land Ansu Fati this close season. According to Sport, Barcelona will keep the 17-year-old, who is reportedly wanted by Borussia Dortmund and Premier League clubs.

- Newcastle United are looking at signing Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri if they are taken over, according to the Daily Mail.

- It seems Adam Lallana is set to leave Liverpool when his contract expires at the end of the season. The Mirror reports Burnley have joined the fight for the midfielder, who is also said to be a target for Leicester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham.

Xherdan Shaqiri believes Liverpool have the potential to get even better after enjoying an "unbelievable year" in 2019 that included Champions League glory in Madrid.

The Reds were crowned kings of Europe for a sixth time thanks to a 2-0 victory over domestic rivals Tottenham, their success in the Spanish capital helping ease the pain of narrowly missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.

It was a second Champions League success for Shaqiri, who had previously lifted the trophy during his time with Bayern Munich, helping make amends following Liverpool's defeat to Real Madrid in the 2018 showpiece.

In an interview with the club's official website, the Switzerland international reflected on the achievements of Jurgen Klopp's squad in the previous season. 

"It was an unbelievable year for us. It was a shame we didn't win the league but it was amazing to get the Champions League title again for Liverpool," Shaqiri said. 

"For me, the second time. You never forget these kinds of feelings, these kinds of trophies you win with the team. And to celebrate with the fans, after a long time they could celebrate something big in the city, was just amazing.

"The potential for this team is very high, I think we can go as high as possible. But we need to stay on our toes and to be on our highest level to be really very, very successful."

Liverpool reached the final thanks to a stunning comeback against Barcelona in the last four, overturning a 3-0 deficit from the first leg as they won 4-0 on Merseyside.

Shaqiri revealed how the timing of the second goal at Anfield - scored by Georginio Wijnaldum in the 54th minute - raised the belief they could complete a famous turnaround. The same player scored again shortly after to draw the hosts level on aggregate, with Divock Origi adding a fourth.

"It was an unbelievable comeback. Nobody thought we were going to come back," Shaqiri explained.

"To be honest, we always believe. The situation when we came into the dressing room at half-time you thought, 'okay, let’s finish well' because it was just 1-0.

"To be honest, I never thought we were going to win the game 4-0 in the end, but if you score the second one you start believing.

"It was momentum; I think if we played 20 minutes more we were going to score two more goals. It was just amazing. The fans behind us helped us a lot. It was an unbelievable comeback that we'll never forget."

After narrowly missing out to City last time, Liverpool were on the brink of being crowned champions for the first time in the Premier League era before the coronavirus crisis forced the season to be suspended.

Shaqiri has made just six league appearances in an injury-troubled campaign, the last of which was off the bench during a 1-0 away win over Spurs on January 11.

Could Liverpool part with Sadio Mane?

The star forward is a key member of Jurgen Klopp's side, who won the Champions League last season.

However, Real Madrid are reportedly ready to test Liverpool's resolve.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SET SIGHTS ON MANE

LaLiga giants Real Madrid are targeting Liverpool star Sadio Mane, reports The Mirror.

Mane has established himself as an integral part of Liverpool's squad after arriving from Southampton in 2016.

However, Madrid believe they could tempt Liverpool with a £140million (€154m) offer.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport's frontpage has the headline "Hands off Ronaldo". Sunday's newspaper features a story which says Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo want to continue together as the Serie A champions look to sign a "real number nine" amid links to Mauro Icardi. The Argentina international is on loan at Paris Saint-Germain from Inter.

PSG expect Neymar to leave at the end of the season, with ESPN claiming the Ligue 1 giants value the Barcelona target at €150m. Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

- According to the Express, Chelsea are preparing a £85m (€93m) bid for Bayer Leverkusen's Leon BaileyLiverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United have also been linked to the 22-year-old.

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims PSG are keen on Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who is contracted to the Italian giants until 2023. While Pjanic could leave Turin, Emerson Palmieri could arrive as Juve eye the Chelsea full-back.

United have offered goalkeeper Dean Henderson a new contract worth £100,000 per week, reports The Sun. Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United.

- The Mirror says United, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Chelsea have all met Birmingham City's asking price for teenage sensation Jude Bellingham.

Liverpool are ready to offload Xherdan Shaqiri, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana at the end of the season, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Jurgen Klopp has hailed Xherdan Shaqiri's "unbelievable" physique and revealed Liverpool are still seeking a solution to the midfielder's persistent injury problems.

Switzerland international Shaqiri has made just three starts in all competitions for Liverpool this season due to calf and hamstring issues.

The 28-year-old has been linked with a January move to Serie A side Roma and LaLiga club Sevilla, but Klopp last week ruled out the prospect of a mid-season exit.

And the Reds boss is working hard to ensure Shaqiri can still play a big part in the remaining months of the 2019-20 campaign.

"It is not cool, absolutely not cool but maybe there are different reasons," he said of Shaqiri's injury record this season.

"He is a very special player in different departments. His physique is different to all others I ever saw, his muscles are unbelievable.

"So far it [his injury] was never big but it was always enough to get him out, I can imagine that is frustrating, it is frustrating for him and not good for us.

"We work on that. We don't want to bring in a situation where it constantly happens, but so far we didn't find 100 per cent the solution for it, so we have to see."

Shaqiri is likely to sit out Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round trip to Shrewsbury Town as Liverpool continue their quest for a domestic and European treble.

Klopp's men are 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand and into the last 16 of the Champions League, but the German is expecting a difficult test at League One side Shrewsbury this weekend.

"Of course, it is tough - that's the really good thing about a cup competition," he said.

"Shrewsbury qualified in a difficult game, having to play twice against Bristol City, and have been looking forward to this game since they qualified, and they knew before that we would be the opponent.

"The lower-league team playing at their home ground is an advantage. Hopefully the pitch will be okay - I have no idea so far about any circumstances.

"That is proper cup and I like that. Is it a test? Yes, maybe, but it is not like I test the players, it is a test in general as you play against a team who fights the fight of their life and we have to show how important the next round is to us."

Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool have "no intention" of letting Xherdan Shaqiri leave the club this month.

Switzerland international Shaqiri has been the subject of reported interest from Serie A side Roma and LaLiga outfit Sevilla, with the Reds thought to have already dismissed approaches for the 28-year-old.

The forward has made only six Premier League appearances this term, starting just twice, having played in 24 top-flight games in his first season at Anfield.

Yet as the Reds bid to seal a first league title in three decades and defend their Champions League crown, Klopp stressed the club do not want to offload any player this month.

"The majority of December and January we had the bench full of kids, wonderful kids, but kids, so how could we think about giving people to anyone?" Klopp said at a news conference to preview Liverpool's clash with Wolves on Thursday.

"It's not about Shaq, it's about everyone. We have to keep them for sorting our situation, not the situation for different clubs.

"If somebody would come around the corner and ask properly...but that didn't happen.

"[If] they are desperate then we think but there's absolutely no intention from our side to do anything."

Klopp's unbeaten side made it 21 wins from 22 in the Premier League on Sunday with a 2-0 triumph over Manchester United, the only side to have taken points off them in the division this term.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the first player Klopp brought off in that game just after the hour mark and the midfielder reacted angrily when he came to the bench having been replaced by Adam Lallana.

The 26-year-old also appeared peeved when he came off against Tottenham in Liverpool's previous game, with the England international yet to complete 90 minutes since returning from an ankle problem earlier this month.

However, Klopp said there is no issue with the reaction of his player, who he has spoken to regarding his apparent anger at being replaced.

"He's not [frustrated], he just looks like this," Klopp added.

"I asked him. It's all fine. It's normal a player wants to play 90 minutes. We have to learn from our own past. Oxlade is an unbelievably important player. Players get tired, they show up again like this.

"I try to read the players during the game and try to understand in which moment they are energy-level wise and make a decision. Maybe with Oxlade I was a bit too early but he got a knock on top of that. He was limping a little.

"If a midfielder is limping you start looking in more detail. In one or two defensive situations if a midfielder is not in the way he should be it has an impact. We have to make a decision.

"Maybe after the game it didn't feel that bad any more with the knock. That's good. It's all okay, we have good options to make substitutions."

Jurgen Klopp hailed Divock Origi for an "outstanding" performance in Liverpool's 5-2 Merseyside derby win over Everton on Wednesday.

Origi made his first Premier League start since October and took his chance at Anfield, scoring a brilliant brace in the derby win as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run in the top-flight to a club-record 32 games.

The Belgium international's second goal saw him superbly bring down a long pass from Dejan Lovren and his performance earned praise from his manager.

"Outstanding. What a game he played. It was not only the goals but the goals were exceptional," Klopp told a news conference.

"The first one was a great attack in general – winning the ball, Adam [Lallana] passes to Sadio [Mane], Sadio sees the run, sees his movement and passes that ball in exactly the right moment, one touch and an open goal, great.

"In Germany when I was young one highlight of my week was always goal of the week and goal of the month. When they selected these, that [Origi's second] would have been 100 per cent in contention. It was just a great first touch and then finishing it off like this.

"Apart from that, incredibly important runs for us, movements, used his speed, looked so natural. That was the most important thing. The understanding with Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] and Sadio was obviously really good. So it was a pretty impressive performance of Div."

Klopp made five changes to his starting XI for the derby, with Origi, Adrian, Lallana, Shaqiri and James Milner picked to face Everton.

It was Shaqiri's first start of the season and Klopp apologised to the attacker, while praising Liverpool's depth.

"Sorry Shaq! He was injured a couple of times," Klopp said.

"If he could have scored two goals like Divock instead of one, I could say exactly the same [as I said about Origi]. He looked completely fresh, he looked strong, physically strong, so it is important players train after they get injured.

"He had twice this calf thing this season, so there was not a lot to change but I think he has been back in training for two or three weeks now completely normal.

"He understood the situation, that's how it is in a squad when you win a lot of games, you don't make 20 changes. It was always clear this period now of the year is where we need all of the boys and I hope they will then be in the shape like Shaq and Div, or Adam.

"It's really important and gives us the feeling that we can do it more often – and we will do it more often. It was an incredible performance, the set-pieces were outstanding. It was all really good. More to follow!"

Jurgen Klopp had no doubts over the quality of his Liverpool squad, but was delighted the Reds' lesser lights shined bright in the Merseyside derby.

Liverpool stormed to 5-2 victory over lowly Everton at Anfield on Wednesday, with Klopp bringing up his 100th Premier League win in the process.

It also marked a new club record, as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run in the top flight to 32 matches, since they were defeated by Manchester City in January.

Divock Origi scored twice to take his tally of derby goals to five, while Xherdan Shaqiri capped his first start of the season with a goal - regulars Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum completing the rout.

"I speak a lot about the quality of the squad so I have to show it from time to time, but then the boys have to show they can perform," Klopp, who made five changes, told Prime-Video.

"It was incredible – Divock's goals, Sadio's passes, Shaq's linking play, everything, Adam Lallana was everywhere and we had so many really good moments.

"But of course a bit rusty in defending, they were really direct. [Everton] couldn't defend us but offensively they caused us problems at times. All good at 4-1, the goal for 4-2 I didn't like too much because the injury time is three minutes and we start playing an offensive pass. But we have to learn, have to improve and we will do.

"The squad didn't become bigger tonight, we knew these boys were here, we knew they were fantastic footballers.

"This was the first game of the tough fixture list, we have to make changes and will make changes. I'm really pleased, really happy but I was not in doubt about it. Of course not for me really, but for the public, for the crowd, they feel much better about the squad."

Silva's chances of keeping hold of his job at Everton, meanwhile, seem increasingly slim, with the Toffees sitting 18th after 15 games.

Everton find themselves in the relegation zone following 15 rounds for the first time since 1999, though the former Watford boss insisted he is still focused on attempting to turn things around.

"I am not the right person to talk to you about the situation. I cannot answer you," Silva told reporters. "Since I joined the club and until the last day I am here I will always be 100 per cent professional, giving my best every single day.

"I understand why the questions are coming. If we are winning all the games, you are not asking them. It is not for me to take those situations. I don't like to talk after every single match about my future."

Jurgen Klopp started with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench for Liverpool's derby clash with Everton at Anfield.

Liverpool headed into Wednesday's Merseyside showdown - the 234th meeting between the local rivals and the first of potentially nine matches for the Reds in December - eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Everton, meanwhile, were sitting 17th, and a defeat, combined with a Southampton victory over Norwich City, would see them drop into the relegation zone, with Marco Silva under huge pressure at Goodison Park.

Liverpool boss Klopp, however, opted to shuffle his pack, with Salah and Firmino, who have featured in 12 and 14 league games respectively this term, both starting as substitutes.

Sadio Mane retained his place, with Xherdan Shaqiri coming in for his first start of the season and Divock Origi leading Liverpool's line.

Liverpool made five changes in total, with James Milner and Adam Lallana coming in for midfielders Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Adrian replaced goalkeeper Alisson, suspended after receiving a red card in the 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

"One change we had to do in Adrian for Alisson, and the other four we wanted to do, just to respect the game, to respect the intensity of the game first and foremost," Klopp told Liverpool's official website.

"We did it because we can do it. I have to show the respect for the boys and I’ve said a lot of times how much I like the squad and now we have to use it. That's the line-up for today because we think the game will be really intense and for this you need kind of fresh legs and we try to bring them in."

Silva, meanwhile, stuck with the Everton side which started in Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Leicester City.

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