Nuno concerned over Spurs' 'red-list' stars

London (AFP) –


Nuno Espirito Santo admits he is concerned about the potential "damage" if Tottenham stars Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso ignore the Premier League's 'red-list' ban to link up with Argentina.

Romero and Lo Celso are set to travel to Argentina for World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil next week.

All four countries are on the British Government's 'red-list', meaning the players will not have exemption from having to undertake a coronavirus quarantine on their return.

Premier League clubs voted last week not to release players heading to 'red-list' destinations.

But Aston Villa confirmed on Sunday that their Argentine duo, goalkeeper Emi Martinez and midfielder Emi Buendia have already jetted off for international duty.

"Aston Villa can confirm Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia have travelled to join up with the Argentina squad with the permission of the club in accordance with FIFA's international match call-up rules," a statement said.

"Both players have agreed to make themselves available for Argentina's vital first two World Cup qualifying matches against Venezuela and Brazil, but will not take part in the third international match against Bolivia."

If Romero and Lo Celso do travel, they would miss at least three fixtures while they have to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel.

That would be a blow for Nuno, who has taken Tottenham to the top of the Premier League with three successive wins.

"It's a problem that not affects only us but affects all clubs and all the South American players playing in the Premier League. We have to obey the Government law," Nuno said after Sunday's 1-0 victory over Watford.

"We will try to do so but at the same time we don't have any kind of help from FIFA, the Government or the Premier League in support in this situation.

"We know what it means for all of the players to play for their national teams. It's something they're very proud of, so what we are trying to do is anticipate the situations.

"We are trying to take care of that situation. Trying to anticipate the damage. Us as a club we are working on that.

"I feel the same, all of us as managers have this problem to try and solve. We cannot stop it but we try and find the best way for so when they return we can get them sooner.

"There are ways and we as a club are trying to provide support for our players."