Liverpool, Manchester United and Man City are still in the dark over whether their Brazilian stars are allowed to play this weekend.
Earlier this week, the Brazilian football federation (CBF) wrote to FIFA asking that an automatic restriction be placed on the players from appearing for their clubs between September 10 and 14.
The Selecao were fuming that Premier League clubs had withheld their Central and South American players from representing their nations at the recent international break.
The ban was branded ‘ridiculous’ and ‘absurd’ by talkSPORT host Simon Jordan, with the likes of Brazil and Paraguay on the UK’s COVID red list.
Mexico have withdrawn their complaint meaning Raul Jimenez can play for Wolves while Richarlison has also been given the green light at Everton.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has since confirmed that Paraguayan forward Miguel Almiron would be available for the trip to Old Trafford.
talkSPORT recently reported that the remaining sides involved have all agreed to defy FIFA and are planning to field their ‘banned’ players.
But with all managers claiming publicly that they remain in the dark over whether they will be without their Brazilians – who is still at risk?
Possible absentees this weekend
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Fred (Manchester United)
Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
Raphinha (Leeds United)
Ederson (Man City)
Gabriel Jesus (Man City)
Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino
The Reds are among the most affected by FIFA’s ban, with their three Brazilians all mainstays among the first-team picture.
Firmino was already set to miss the trip to Leeds due to injury but both Alisson and Fabinho were in line to start.
Asked about the availability of the trio, Jurgen Klopp said: “I don’t know what will happen at the weekend, to be honest.
“In this moment, we have to see what other people decide and then we will again accept that probably, do what people tell us and try to win a football game.
“But the whole situation is really just like the whole world in the moment in a nutshell – ‘ah, in football they have these problems as well.’ Yes, we have these problems. And now we will see who finds the solution.”
Ederson and Gabriel Jesus
Pep Guardiola is another dealt a bad hand by the ban with his first choice goalkeeper in line to miss the game against Leicester.
City’s back-up Zack Steffen is also out with COVID-19, meaning third choice Scott Carson is set to make his second appearance for the club.
Guardiola said on Friday afternoon: “Right now, at 1.35pm, it is unclear. I don’t know, hopefully they can play.
“We are going to wait to see if they can play or not.”
The Brazilian has started all three games for the Red Devils in the Premier League so far this season but is set to miss out this weekend as it stands.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been strong on the matter, labelling the situation a ‘farce’ with the Norwegian still waiting for a decision around Fred.
“I think it’s a lose-lose-lose situation for everyone: national teams, players, clubs. It’s been a farce, really,” Solskjaer said.
“The players want to play but we all know what kind of situation we find ourselves in the last year-and-a-half with the pandemic, the travels and everyone trying to limit the spread of the virus.
“We’ve worked really hard before this to try to find a way. Private jets, you know, there are ways of getting them in and out but all the decisions have gone against the players, that’s for sure.
“They want to play for their national teams, they want to play for their clubs, but they’re not allowed. For me, I’m disappointed with whole thing. Common sense might not be so common anymore.
“We need to prepare for the game without Fred but still, fingers crossed, that some sense can come into people’s minds and that we can use him.”
Thomas Tuchel has claimed that the decision to ban his centre-back this weekend helps nobody.
Silva could end up missing both games against Aston Villa in the Premier League as well as Chelsea’s Champions League opener on Tuesday.
Tuchel said: “Not only with Thiago but with the situation. Maybe not football but the world itself is not the same with travelling and travelling restrictins.
“If we try to go in the international break home to my country or try to bring my family over it is not the same. It is more and more complicated.
“Of course the clubs want their players to play, national teams as well and the players also want to play.
“If it ends up the situation if the players cannot play for the national team and are maybe suspended in their league.
“That helps nobody, it makes no sense. Not for the fans, not for football, not for the national team or the clubs.
“Personally I think there could be a solution that the games are moved from red listed countries to green listed countries like we did with the Champions League. We played in Romania and Sevilla.
“Right now Thiago is not officially out. The chairman is still in negotiations and I’m waiting for the final decision.
“For me, it’s enough if I get the final decision tomorrow. We will take the latest decision tomorrow morning and we still hope he can play.”
The 24-year-old only earned his first involvement with Brazil last month but now could be banned from appearing for his club.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa waded in on the ongoing debate by revealing the stance at Elland Road over whether Raphinha would play this weekend.
He said: “If a player leaves his club of origin for ten days, one day before the game he has to play in his league, when he comes back he can’t play that game and he has to quarantine, he didn’t leave for ten days, he has left for 21 days.
“For four weeks to a month, there are three weeks he won’t be able to play for the club he belongs to.
“There are international breaks in September, October, November. In those three months if he’s not going to participate for three weeks it’s impossible to think that nothing’s going to happen.
“The national teams have to take on board or develop their activities and they have to maintain that feeling that the footballer wants to represent their country.
“It is convenient for the industry that there are a lot of games. They don’t care if the players are saturated, get injured or play badly because they play so much.”