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FOOTBALL

Speculation mounts over Larsson’s future

Speculation in Sweden was rife on Monday over whether Sweden, Celtic and Barcelona veteran foward, Henrik Larsson, would convert a dream debut at Manchester United into an extended stay at the club.

Larsson on Sunday launched his 10-week loan stint from Swedish side Helsingborg in style to fire United into a 55th minute lead over Aston Villa in a dramatic FA Cup third round tie at Old Trafford.

Helsingborg FC chairman Sten-Inge Fredin was quoted by the BBC saying that Larsson could stay on in England:

“If he wants to stay then we’ll open that discussion with United. We will not stand in his way,” said Fredin.

But speaking later to AFP, Fredin was keen to dampen speculation that Larsson could extend his stay at United.

“First we must have a request from Manchester … but so far there have been no discussions on an extension,” the Helsingborg chairman Fredin told AFP.

“According to the contract … he’s coming back to us on March 12,” Fredin added.

Swedish papers made much of his dream debut at Old Trafford with both broadsheet and tabloid front pages carrying pictures of a jubilant Larsson surrounded by his team mates.

Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter heaped praised on the 35-year-old and called on him to return to the national side.

“He made dream passes, reverse kicks, bicycle kicks and he scored a goal. Make yourself available for the national team again. Please!” the paper said.

After the 2006 World Cup Larsson left the national side saying it was time for young talent to come up through the ranks.

FOOTBALL

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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