EPL

Coronavirus: Sterling demands at least a month of training prior to Premier League return

By Sports Desk May 17, 2020

Manchester City star Raheem Sterling believes clubs should be given at least four weeks to train before returning to competitive Premier League action following the coronavirus hiatus.

Much like most sport across the world, the Premier League has been on hold for two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Kingdom has been hit particularly badly by the virus, which has been contracted by over 240,000 people across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with over 34,000 confirmed deaths.

With the German Bundesliga resuming on Saturday and Spain's LaLiga ramping up its own plans for a return, the Premier League's next steps are being eagerly debated, with 'Project Restart' reportedly identifying June 13 as potential target.

But, following Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce's suggestion to push the restart back until the end of next month, Sterling is also erring on the side of caution, stressing the need for at least a month of full training before competitive action returns.

Speaking in an interview with United States star Megan Rapinoe on his official YouTube channel, Sterling said: "You can't come back in [playing matches] with one-and-a-half weeks, two weeks [of training].

"You need a full four or five weeks, especially if you're going back into competition, you're not playing friendlies, when you're literally paid to win and it's going to count for something.

"You do need that preparation, definitely, you can't just go straight back into it."

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    ROUND-UP

    - Contracted at Manchester City until 2021, Sergio Aguero may yet stay at the Etihad Stadium a little longer. The Mirror reports City have not ruled out giving the star forward, 32, a one-year extension.

    - With Neymar repeatedly linked with a return to Barcelona, it seems the LaLiga giants are wanting to distance themselves from the Paris Saint-Germain star. Marca says Barca are keen to see the rumours of a potential return for Neymar stop.

    - Staying at Camp Nou and Barcelona apparently have interest in two players from Tottenham. The Daily Star says Barca want Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele. However, it reports Spurs will reject all offers for Sessegnon this close season.

    - Philippe Coutinho's future remains unclear. Mundo Deportivo reports the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona until the end of the season, will not decide his future until after the Champions League next month.

    - Plenty of talk continues to surround Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is coming out of contract at the Premier League club next year. The Daily Star reports the forward will sign a contract extension with Arsenal – if no other club makes an official approach.

    - After just two goals in 25 games for Real Madrid, Luka Jovic seems set for an exit. According to Mundo Deportivo, Juventus, Inter, Chelsea, Leicester City, Milan and Napoli are all considering moves for the forward.

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