Premier League officials were locked in talks on Wednesday night with FIFA, the Brazilian FA and the UK Government in a bid to avoid an all-out club against country war.
Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Leeds could be without key players this weekend after Brazilian football authorities triggered a Fifa rule to block them playing for five days.
It comes after the Premier League clubs decided not to release players who would travel to red-list countries during the international break and therefore be subject to mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine on their return.
Players not released can be banned for five days after the window ends under FIFA regulations.
There remains hope the matter can be resolved in time for this weekend’s games but the clock is ticking.
The only way it can be sorted is if the Brazilian FA withdraw their ban but, at this stage, the only way they will do that is if they get assurances their players will be released for next month’s internationals.
But clubs are unwilling to give those assurances unless they get a guarantee from the UK government that the players would be given an exemption from quarantine.
The FA is also believed to be involved in the mediation after the government was brought into talks.
Manchester City could be without keeper Ederson and striker Gabriel Jesus on Saturday.
That could mean the champions turning to third-choice stopper Scott Carson for their clash with Leicester.
Second-choice keeper Zack Steffen is recovering from Covid, which could hand 36-year-old Carson just his second City appearance since joining in 2019.
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Liverpool would be without Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino for Sunday’s clash with Leeds while the Yorkshire club would be without Raphinha.
United could lose Fred and Chelsea may be without Thiago Silva for two games over the issue.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men face Newcastle on Saturday and then Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Chelsea would be without their defender Thiago Silva against Aston Villa this weekend and then Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday in Europe.