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Derby issue statement in response to national newspaper story about player

Derby County have decided to issue a statement in response to national newspaper story said about a player of theirs this weekend.

The statement does not name the player, but The Sun and various other media outlets have published a story claiming that former Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney was visited by a friend who had been told to isolate by test and trace and then tested positive.

Entrepreneur Josh Bardsley tested positive for coronavirus but was not self-isolating, instead the 21 year old presented Wayne with a luxury watch last Thursday.

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The story adds Rooney – who was unaware of the situation and is not accused of any wrongdoing – then played for Derby in their defeat to Watford on Friday night.

The 34 year old footballer said his health, as well as his family’s and team-mates, had been threatened by someone acting against government guidelines.

Worries that Rooney and his family have now contracted Covid could ruin plans that he and his wife Coleen had of taking their children away for a sunshine break at half-term.

In a statement, Rooney said he only discovered his friend had been traced after being alerted by The Sun on Sunday.

A spokesman said: “Wayne met Josh Bardsley briefly when he visited Wayne’s house on Thursday.

“Wayne was not told by Josh or anyone else before or during that visit that Josh had been told to take a coronavirus test.

“Had he known Josh had been contacted by Track and Trace or had tested positive he would have refused to have seen him.

“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 of his contact with Josh.”

Players from Derby and Watford could also now be forced to take tests.

The ex-Manchester United and Everton striker had posed with the luxury timepiece for a photo on Bardsley’s Avant Garde Global business Instagram account.

Bardsley wrote: “Level Up… What a pleasure! Manchester United’s all-time top goalscorer. England’s all-time leading top goal scorer. Thanks for the business & enjoy.”

Rooney replied: “Nice one lads.”

Government guidelines state anyone who has been in contact with a person who has tested positive must self-isolate for 14 days.

Rooney has previously spoken of the ­danger of getting Covid. In March he complained that players were treated as “guinea pigs” by the authorities after games continued while other sports were stopped.

He said he would consider retiring if Coleen or any of their four kids fell ill because he had caught it through playing.

Derby issue statement in response to national newspaper story
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.


A Department of Culture, Media and Sport spokeswoman said: “The guidance is clear that the contacts of a person who has tested positive need to self-isolate at home.”

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