West Ham will give their squad and staff Covid-19 tests on Wednesday after their manager, David Moyes, and two of their players were sent away from the London Stadium after returning positives for the virus 70 minutes before the Carabao Cup tie against Hull on Tuesday.
West Ham gave Moyes, Issa Diop and Josh Cullen tests on Tuesday night to see whether they had recorded false positives. The club’s co-owner David Sullivan has said the trio, who will self-isolate for 10 days in line with government protocols, have been suffering from slight sore throats.
“The whole team will be retested today to see if we have any more casualties,” Sullivan told TalkSport. “All the players are fine. I mean they’ve got slightly sore throats. The manager is in fine form this morning. He has had a slight sore throat for a couple of days but he just puts it down to the fact he shouts a lot.
“He’s very much a hands on manager. He’s on the training ground screaming and shouting and he said: ‘Look, I do get a sore throat occasionally.’ I thought nothing of it.”
Medical officials from both clubs agreed to let the tie take place in line with health protocols and in consultation with the English Football League. None of Hull’s players had been tested. West Ham, who will face Everton or Fleetwood after reaching the fourth round with a 5-1 win, said the League One club had declined their offer to pay for tests.
Testing is not mandatory in the EFL, whereas it is in the Premier League. Tottenham paid for Leyton Orient to receive tests and their tie was called off when the majority of the League Two club’s first-team squad returned positive results.
“We didn’t want to create anything,” Grant McCann, Hull’s manager, said. “We are comfortable we were following the guidelines in and around the club. We decided against it, we felt we were fine. No one is showing any symptoms or anything like that. We always monitor the players’ wellbeing
“We can get tested wherever we want. We are following the guidelines of the EFL. Just because somebody offers you free tests it doesn’t mean you do it. We are comfortable with what we are doing.”
Social-distancing measures were in place at West Ham before their results were received to minimise the risk of spread. Arsenal have returned no positive tests after facing West Ham last Saturday.
Sullivan has warned that West Ham may struggle to make signings before the window shuts. They have failed with attempts to buy Burnley’s James Tarkowski and there is growing pressure on Sullivan and his fellow owner, David Gold, after the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom.
“We have a number of bids in for a number of players but teams don’t want to lose them,” Sullivan said. “These are key players at decent-sized clubs outside the UK. They don’t want to lose them. We’ve got a very unbalanced squad. We’ve now got the funds to buy a player or two, but unfortunately at the moment the players the manager wants we can’t get.”
Sullivan alluded to the pursuit of Tarkowski. Burnley have asked for £50m for the defender. “We have got limited funds; if we had £400m to spend and someone said you spend 10% of it – £40m – on a 28-year-old centre-back from a Premier League club who will remain nameless; at £40m you’d probably get the player out.
“For 10% of your budget it would probably make sense but to spend your entire budget on a 28-year-old centre-back … We’ve also got the fact we’ll probably get no gate money for the rest of the season and we’ve got to keep the club afloat and pay wages. I cannot say for sure that we are going to sign anybody. As each day passes I am getting more depressed.”