Villa’s Smith hopes for non-quarantine deal with government


Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has said he hopes a deal will be in place with the government that will allow Premier League players to return to the country after their international service without having to quarantine themselves in a hotel for 10 days.

Many Premier League clubs have refused to release players heading to UK redlisted countries last month due to strict COVID-19 quarantine rules they are expected to adhere to upon their return. Those who did, missed the services of the players when the championship resumed after the break.

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Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is one of the key players at Aston Villa who has been called up by Argentina, who is on the red list.

“I understand the authorities and the government are working together to find a tailor-made sports deal,” Smith told reporters on Friday.

“The players can go and play and we can actually bring them back and they can also play in the game when they come back.

“But obviously with everyone’s safety being of paramount importance because we don’t want this to spill out anymore. So hopefully there will be an agreement in place.”

Villa, who rose to eighth after back-to-back league wins over Everton and Manchester United, face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Spurs were at the top of the table before losing three London derbies in a row to place 11th.

“They’ve had an indifferent month but it can happen, they’ve won their first three games without conceding a goal,” said Smith. “They have a very good team and I have a lot of respect for Nuno (Espirito Santo).

“We’re not shooting all cylinders yet, the players know that. There is still a lot we can work on.”

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