The newspaper said Bardsley, 21, had previously been contacted by staff at Test and Trace, had taken a test and therefore should have self-isolated. His test then came back positive.
Rooney was not aware of any Covid-related issues linked to Bardsley and played in Derby’s 1-0 home loss to Watford a day after Friday night’s visit. Government guidelines say that anyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive should self-isolate for 14 days.
It is now likely that, at least, the Derby and Watford teams as well as their support staff will be forced to pass tests. Rooney has already indicated he will take a test.
A statement from Rooney’s management said the 34-year-old was “angry and disappointed” by Bardsley’s actions. “It was not until today (Saturday) following media representations and his own investigations that Wayne learned that Josh had been contacted by track and trace before the visit and should not have come to his home,” said a spokesperson.
Wayne also found out today that Josh then tested positive for Covid-19. If he had known that Josh had been contacted by track and trace or had tested positive, he would have refused to see him. The statement said Rooney also told his club “immediately” if he had known he had been in contact with “anyone suspected of having the virus.”
“Wayne is angry and disappointed that he, his family and his club have been put in this position by someone acting secretly and in violation of government and NHS guidelines. He is now undergoing a coronavirus test following his contact with Josh, ”the statement said.
Derby did not name Rooney but confirmed in a club statement that he was aware of the reports and would follow the guidelines.
“Derby County Football Club is aware of a report in a national newspaper regarding a member of the club’s playing team being in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19,” it read. “By being informed of this news, the club have ensured that the appropriate action is taken in accordance with the strict EFL Covid-19 protocols and UK government guidelines, in which the club operates.
“The club will continue to adhere to the rules and protocols of Covid-19 to ensure that the safest possible environment is provided for its players and staff. The club will not make any further comment unless a further update is required on this matter. “