• Man United ask players to return ahead of potential training resumption

    Manchester United players who went overseas to isolate at home have been told they must come back to England in the next seven days ahead of a potential return to training.

    The club had given players permission to leave England after their Carrington training base was closed in March due to government social distancing measures, and a number decided to fly abroad where they have been undertaking personal fitness programmes provided by the club.

    It is understood United still have no set date for the first team to resume training at Carrington and a decision will not be made until the government advises it is safe for them to return, but those players currently overseas have been asked to come back in the coming week.

    January signing Bruno Fernandes had been back in Portugal with his wife and daughter, but it is understood he has already returned to Manchester having taken the club’s advice. Other players who took the opportunity to leave the country included Victor Lindelof, Fred and Sergio Romero who are in Sweden, Brazil and Argentina respectively.

    The Premier League are yet to officially agree as to when or if the season can be played to its conclusion, but some clubs have already returned to their training grounds ahead of a potential return to action in June. Project Restart is looking into various options as to the safest way the campaign can be completed including playing at neutral grounds behind closed doors.

    Since the start United have outlined their commitment to completing the current campaign although executive vice chairman Ed Woodward admitted last week there is huge uncertainty as to how and when it will be possible to do that due to Covid-19.

    “From a UK perspective there is still huge uncertainty so we will keep fans informed as soon as decisions are made,” Woodward said.

    “We’ve got to have clarity on what the future holds. What will happen with the remainder of this season? What is the impact on next season? Is it behind closed doors or in front of fans? What’s the impact on broadcast deals, sponsorship deals? What’s the impact on domestic cups?

    “We don’t yet know what’s going to happen with regards to the FA Cup. We’re obviously still in that [this season] in the quarter finals. What’s going to happen to that next season if the season is truncated a little bit to squeeze in Premier League games? Does that have a knock-on on domestic cups? There are many, many moving parts.”

    Meanwhile Manchester City are waiting until there is an official timetable for training returning to tell their overseas players to come back. It is understood Gabriel Jesus is already heading back to Manchester but there has been no instruction from the club to do so yet.

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