Wed, 29 Sep 2021

MADRID, July 28 (Xinhua) -- New signing David Alaba has become the second Real Madrid player to test positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19 this pre-season.

The club confirmed the news on its official website on Wednesday, just days after the Austrian central defender was officially presented at the Spanish club that he joined on a free transfer from Bayern Munich.

Striker Karim Benzema was the first player to give a positive test for the virus. Benzema's positive was confirmed five days ago while he was on holiday in France following the European Championship and he will not be able to return to Madrid to start pre-season training until he tests negative.

Alaba's positive test comes at a bad time for Real Madrid, with the season due to start in just over two weeks and with Sergio Ramos joining Paris Saint Germain after his contract expired.

Tuesday also saw Manchester United and Real Madrid confirm that they have reached agreement over a fee to take Raphael Varane to Old Trafford after 10 years in Spain, meaning that the club has lost their first-choice central defensive pairing.

Brazilian Eder Militao is expected to be first choice alongside Alaba this season, but he has still not returned to duty after playing in the Copa America, while Jesus Vallejo is currently with the Spain squad in the Tokyo Olympics.

Real Madrid kicks off the new season away to Deportivo Alaves on August 14th and the way things stand they could have Nacho Fernandez as their only fully fit central defender.

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