France, flu, sickness, Rapahel Varane, Ibrahima Konate, Kingsley Coman, camel flu, Karim Benzema return to France squad, World Cup final, France vs Argentina,

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The virus ripping through the French team has reportedly claimed two more victims, as star defensive duo Rapahel Varane and Ibrahima Konate sat out training with Kingsley Coman after displaying cold-like symptoms.

The news comes a day after France manager Didier Deschamps confirmed Coman caught the virus sweeping through the team as they continue preparations for the World Cup final against Argentina.

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The news of Varane and Konate’s health state will no doubt be of great concern to Deschamps given the duo were the central defensive pairing for the semi final win over Morocco.

Prior to the clash against the Atlas Lions, midfielder Adrien Rabiot and defender Dayot Upamecano were struck down with illness although the latter recovered enough in time to earn a spot on the bench.

Reports emerged of strange theories as to how the pair got sick, with one claiming French staff blamed the England players for passing it on while another pointed to the constant airconditioning as the primary reason.

However it was contracted, Deschamps revealed its claimed a third victim in the form of star winger Kingsley Coman.

“Coman also had a fever this morning,” Deschamps said.

“In Doha, the temperatures have dropped a bit and you still have airconditioning on all the time. We have had a few cases of flu-like symptoms.

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“We are trying to be careful so that it does not spread and the players have put in a great effort on the pitch and obviously their immune systems suffer.

“Dayot Upamecano felt bad immediately after the game against England. It happens when you exert yourself so much, your body weakens and you are more prone to getting these viruses.

“We’re taking all the necessary precautions, we’re trying to make sure it doesn’t spread, but viruses are of course infectious and we have to take precautions against them.”

Rabiot has since been moved to a hotel to isolate, with French staffers believing the virus to be a case of Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS), more commonly known as the ‘camel flu’.

However, there has been no confirmation as to what the exact virus that struck down the French trio is.

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Yet it’s not all doom and gloom on the absentee front, as star striker and recent Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema could make a shock return from injury in time for the final.

Benzema went down with a thigh injury in a training session before the World Cup had begun and has kept him out of the tournament since.

But his club Real Madrid has authorised his release to rejoin the French squad for the final should Deschamps require his services, per Mundo Deportivo.

The star striker posted a video of him working out on a bike to his Twitter with a caption that simply read: “Motivation.”

The 34-year-old was not officially removed from Deschamps’ 26-man squad and as it stands, will still get a winners or runners-up medal for France’s efforts in Qatar.

Whether Benzema is flown in for the final remains to be seen and would be unlikely to start given rival Olivier Giroud’s fine form this tournament.

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