Pogba left out of France squad after positive Covid-19 test

World Cup winner Paul Pogba has been replaced by teenager Eduardo Camavinga. (Reuters pic)

PARIS: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was omitted from the France squad announced Thursday for next month’s Nations League matches against Sweden and Croatia after testing positive for Covid-19, coach Didier Deschamps said.

World Cup winner Pogba has been replaced by teenager Eduardo Camavinga, who was called up for the first time alongside Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.

“Unfortunately he underwent a test yesterday (Wednesday) which was revealed to be positive this morning,” Deschamps said of Pogba’s absence from the group.

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot was also recalled for the first time in over two years after he refused to go on the standby list for the 2018 World Cup.

“He’s found a very good level again. We can’t go back, I’m not someone who likes to take radical decisions. He remained selectable,” explained Deschamps.

Blaise Matuidi, 33, was overlooked following his recent move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami in Major League Soccer as Deschamps decided to give a chance to some younger players in midfield.

Kylian Mbappe was one of two Paris St-Germain players included alongside defender Presnel Kimpembe, both starters in last weekend’s Champions League final defeat by Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

France will travel to Sweden for their opening Nations League game on Sept 5 before returning home to play Croatia three days later. Their last international was the 2-0 victory over Albania on Nov 17.