Barcelona are prepared to use Antoine Griezmann in a deal to land Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar, 28, has constantly been linked with a return to Camp Nou, but ended up staying at PSG during the last close season.

It seems Barcelona will pursue the Brazil international again and they may be prepared to offer Griezmann in a deal.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA TO OFFER GRIEZMANN TO PSG IN NEYMAR DEAL

Despite it proving such an ordeal to sign Griezmann in the first place, Barca will try to use him as a makeweight in a deal to land Neymar, according to Sky Sports.

The report says the Spanish giants are prepared to let Griezmann go just one season after signing him from Atletico Madrid, as they reportedly also target Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

Barca will try to sell the forward elsewhere if PSG are not interested, the story claims, with the Frenchman underwhelming since his switch to Camp Nou.

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are apparently preparing for a battle with Germany. The Mirror reports Germany see Jurgen Klopp – contracted at Anfield until 2024 – as a successor to coach Joachim Low.

Manchester United remain interested in Erling Haaland. ESPN claims the Premier League club are again ready to compete for the forward's services with Real Madrid if the Norway international decides to leave Borussia Dortmund.

- Will Gareth Bale remain at Real Madrid? The Mirror suggests the Wales international is ready to fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu despite his differences with coach Zinedine Zidane.

Saul Niguez is apparently wanted in the Premier League. AS says Man United are willing to pay around £71million (€80m) for the Atletico midfielder, who has a release clause of £132.5m (€150m).

Barcelona may be prepared to sell players this close season, but Arthur will not be among them. Sport reports the Spanish champions see the midfielder as a key player. Meanwhile, it is also claimed Gent star Jonathan David has been offered to the Blaugrana.

Juventus have reportedly secured the futures of two players. Rai Sport understands Blaise Matuidi has extended his contract with Juve until 2021, while Marko Pjaca – who is on loan at Anderlecht – has agreed to a deal until 2023.

Manuel Neuer will be number one at Bayern Munich next season and will help Alexander Nubel to develop, according to Oliver Kahn.

Neuer's contract expires in 2021 and there are reports of an impasse in talks over a new deal, leading to suggestions the 34-year-old could be moved on at the end of the season.

Bayern have already signed Nubel on a five-year deal, with the Schalke goalkeeper to switch to the Allianz Arena on a free transfer ahead of the next campaign.

However, Bayern board member and former keeper Kahn expects Nubel to be second choice next term, as he predicts Neuer will continue at the highest level for some time.

"In general, as I have shown myself, goalkeepers can of course play into old age, but maintaining a high level is a great challenge," Kahn, who retired at 38, told Sport Bild.

"In Alexander Nubel, we get a highly talented goalkeeper, who has the chance to develop and learn behind Manuel Neuer. Not many have the opportunity to work with the best goalkeeper in the world every day."

While 2019-20 is on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bayern are said to be putting transfer plans in place ahead of next season.

Interim boss Hansi Flick said this month that he believes coaches should have the power to veto transfers proposed by club managers, amid suggestions he has been at odds with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic over Bayern's planning.

Kahn admits it is important that Bayern "march in one direction in order to develop the team further".

He added: "Of course, the coach is a very important factor in terms of transfer plans. Hasan Salihamidzic, Hansi Flick and I discussed and coordinated this and other topics intensively.

"The coach can and should put forward his ideas."

Neymar, Lautaro Martinez or both? Barcelona may have a decision to make this close season.

Neymar has been linked with a return to Camp Nou, while the LaLiga giants are also reportedly interested in Inter star Martinez.

Barcelona could be forced to choose between the two in the next transfer window.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR, MARTINEZ OR BOTH? BARCELONA'S BIG DECISION

Barcelona want both Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and Inter's Martinez but know it will be difficult to land the duo, according to Sport.

It reports landing Martinez is shaping to be easier as Inter are willing to accept players as part of a deal.

Martinez has scored 16 goals in 31 games for Inter this season, while Neymar has netted 18 times in 22 appearances for PSG.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United could be turning to an old target. ESPN reports the Premier League club are prepared to make a bid for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt if the Serie A giants are open to a sale this close season.

- Harry Kane's future at Tottenham seemingly remains unclear. But The Daily Mail says Spurs are confident of keeping the forward, who said on Monday he would not stay at the club just "for the sake of it".

- It looks like Jadon Sancho to Liverpool will not be happening. The Mirror claims the Premier League leaders are not targeting the Borussia Dortmund star, leaving United and Chelsea as the English clubs still in the chase.

- Where will Philippe Coutinho end up next season? Sport reports Leicester City are interested in a loan deal for the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona. Staying at Camp Nou and Sport says Barcelona are considering a move for Layvin Kurzawa, who is out of contract at PSG at season's end, as a back-up to Jordi Alba.

- Edinson Cavani is also out of contract at the end of the season at PSG, but CalcioMercato reports the Uruguayan striker will not be joining Atletico Madrid, the club he has been linked to.

- With Alexis Sanchez set to return to Manchester United from his loan spell at Inter, The Sun reports the club will be forced to pay the attacker a £1.1million loyalty payment.

The resumption of football in Europe's top five leagues still appears some way off due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving players with plenty of time to analyse their performances this season.

Using Opta data, we have already examined some of the worst attacking and passing numbers from 2019-20, so now it's the turn of the defence.

We have analysed nine metrics for defenders to have featured in at least 10 league games this season, thereby giving us a good summary of those whose defending could use some improvement.

The metrics include success rates in duels, tackling and aerial challenges, errors leading to shots and goals and how many times a player has been dribbled past by an opponent.

As always when it comes to data, context is key. For success rates in duels, tackling and aerial challenges we have only included players who have completed 20 actions in each category, which accounts to two per game.

The below therefore provides a good indication on where improvement is needed, and there are a few surprising names…

 

THE WORST DEFENDING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most tackles lost: William (29)
Worst tackle success: Alexander Hack (40.91 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Robin Koch (3)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Robin Koch (3)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: William (32)
Most duels lost: Stefan Lainer (125)
Worst duel success: Julian Ryerson (35 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Robin Koch and Sven Bender (56)
Worst aerial success: Christian Gunter (22.86 per cent)

LALIGA:

Most tackles lost: Pervis Estupinan (34)
Worst tackle success: Nacho Monreal (40 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Joseph Aidoo and Sergio Ramos (2)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Pervis Estupinan (5)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Marc Cucurella (35)
Most duels lost: Marc Cucurella (167)
Worst duel success: Daniel Carrico (40.3 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Didac Vila (55)
Worst aerial success: Xavi Quintilla (25.71 per cent)

LIGUE 1:

Most tackles lost: Boubacar Kamara (33)
Worst tackle success: Lionel Carole (34.78 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Sofiane Alakouch, Timothee Kolodziejczak and Stefan Mitrovic (2)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Wesley Fofana, Alexander Djiku and Malang Sarr (4)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Arturo Calabresi (42)
Most duels lost: Issiaga Sylla (161)
Worst duel success: Colin Dagba (40 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Pablo Martinez (59)
Worst aerial success: Hamza Mendyl (17.39 per cent)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most tackles lost: Ricardo Pereira (50)
Worst tackle success: Calum Chambers (38.46 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Jan Bednarek (3)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Jan Bednarek, Tyrone Mings, John Egan, Davinson Sanchez and James Tarkowski (4)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Ricardo Pereira (53)
Most duels lost: Ricardo Pereira (215)
Worst duel success: Benjamin Mendy (37.38 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Ben Mee (84)
Worst aerial success: Max Aarons (26.09 per cent)

SERIE A:

Most tackles lost: Matteo Darmian (32)
Worst tackle success: Andrea Cistana (40 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Jhon Chancellor, Fabio Lucioni, Jose Luis Palomino, Alex Sandro (2)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Fabio Lucioni (5)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Stefano Sabelli (40)
Most duels lost: Giovanni Di Lorenzo (126)
Worst duel success: Hans Hateboer (40.63 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Mattia Bani (57)
Worst aerial success: Jeremy Toljan (28.00 per cent)

AND THE TOP NINE:

Most tackles lost: Ricardo Pereira (50)
Worst tackle success: Lionel Carole (34.78 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Robin Koch and Jan Bednarek (3)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Pervis Estupinan and Fabio Lucioni (5)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Ricardo Pereira (53)
Most duels lost: Ricardo Pereira (215)
Worst duel success: Julian Ryerson (35 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Ben Mee (84)
Worst aerial success: Hamza Mendyl (17.39 per cent)

The decision to suspend the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga seasons until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic has been ratified, with a task force established to aid the campaign's eventual continuation.

The German Football League (DFL) announced an extension to the hiatus a week ago and, during a video conference on Tuesday, the proposal was unanimously approved by all relevant parties.

Further measures were also agreed during the meeting, including the formation of a task force to oversee planning for "continuation of gaming and training operations", and temporary alterations to sanctions implemented for financial problems.

The DFL remains committed to finishing the season by the end of June, in line with the request from UEFA, and is planning on resuming action in controlled environments.

The "sports medicine/special game operations task force" will develop an outline for this situation.

"A medical task force has been established to create a concept with the aim of medically justifiable continuation of gaming and training operations," a DFL statement read. "In a first step, this will centrally document all COVID-19 cases at the clubs of the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga.

"In addition, the commission is developing a procedure with which close, independent testing of players and other staff can be carried out, among other things, immediately before the matchdays.

"Furthermore, organisational measures in the stadium to avoid transmission (hygiene, disinfection, distance, etc.) as well as special processes in the game and training organisation are defined and uniformly laid down in a guideline. Close coordination with external experts and authorities is sought."

The DFL will also allow greater leeway with respect to clubs' potential financial issues in the current climate, confirming the nine-point deduction for opening insolvency proceedings has been suspended for this season.

The statement added: "This means for the current season that the deduction of nine points is suspended as a sanction for opening insolvency proceedings (Section 11 No. 5 of the licensing regulations).

"In the event of bankruptcy in the coming season, a penalty would be deducted of only three points. Furthermore, in the upcoming licensing procedure for the 2020-21 season, the clubs' liquidity situation will not be checked.

"However, the DFL prefers to review economic performance during the next season from the end of October to mid-September in order to get a realistic picture of the economic situation of the individual clubs as soon as possible based on the annual financial statements as of June 30, 2020.

"For the 2021-22 season, the licensing procedure is to be used again in the usual way - as a guarantee of the economic solidity and stability of German professional football."

Jadon Sancho is the name on everyone's lips.

The Borussia Dortmund teenager has taken Europe by storm and clubs are queuing up.

But Manchester United are reportedly at the front of the line.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED IN TOUCH WITH SANCHO AGENT

Manchester United have contacted Jadon Sancho's agent as they look to sign the Borussia Dortmund sensation, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Sancho tops the list of United's transfer targets following his exploits for the Bundesliga side, with Liverpool and Chelsea also reportedly interested.

But Dortmund – who will not stand in Sancho's way of a departure – are unwilling to budge on their €110million (£98m) valuation.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport reports Chelsea are preparing a huge contract offer for Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. It comes as the Blues reportedly look to sell Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Juventus are interested in Achraf Hakimi, says Calciomercato. Achraf is set to return to Real Madrid following a two-year loan spell at Dortmund. Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked to the Moroccan full-back.

Inter have named their price for Barcelona target Lautaro Martinez, Calciomercato reports. With a release clause of €111m, Inter want at least €80m in cash.

- Birmingham City's 16-year-old star Jude Bellingham is set to reject a transfer to United in favour of Dortmund, says Bild.

Tottenham and Arsenal, along with Crystal Palace and West Ham, are eyeing Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, according to Team Talk.

- Calciomercato claims Inter have not given up on signing Napoli forward Dries Mertens on a free transfer. The Belgian star is out of contract at the end of 2019-20.

Madrid is the preferred option for Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, says Marca. Liverpool, Dortmund and PSG have also emerged as possible suitors for the 17-year-old.

- Corriere dello Sport says Valencia are eyeing Inter centre-back Diego Godin, who has been linked to United and Tottenham.

Roma are lining up a move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, says Diario AS. Clubs in Brazil and Qatar are also reportedly circling.

Joshua Kimmich feels high-profile footballers have "a certain responsibility" to play their part in the fight against coronavirus.

Earlier this month, Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Kimmich set up an initiative along with club and international team-mate Leon Goretzka called 'We Kick Corona', a fund for charities and social institutions during the COVID-19 crisis.

There have been 2,000 donors to the cause, including Robert Lewandowski, who pledged €1million euros along with his wife, and the total has now surpassed €3.5m, with Mats Hummels, Leroy Sane and Timo Werner listed among the supporters on the initiative's website.

Bayern, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen have also vowed to make a €20m pot available to Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga clubs who may struggle financially due to the leagues' suspensions.

"As a soccer player you have a certain responsibility," Kimmich said in an interview for Bayern's website.

"We also have the scope to move forward in terms of solidarity. Leon and I, and now the FC Bayern Munich team, have naturally thought about how we can help - both our own employees and the society outside the club.

"Therefore we started the initiative and hope that we can help many people who need help during this time."

There have been over 66,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany, which, like most of Europe, has implemented a lockdown in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Bayern's players are therefore training remotely and Kimmich has been pleasantly surprised by how well those virtual sessions have gone.

"In the beginning I was very sceptical whether the cyber training would work," he admitted.

"But you have to say that it is fun. It's a good opportunity for us to keep in touch with the players.

"Everyone is there, you can see each other on your mobile phone or whatever device you are logged in with.

"You have to compliment the fitness trainers at this point because it works really well.

"We players sweat a lot, give everything and every player pulls along very well."

With football no closer to being resumed as the coronavirus pandemic continues, players across Europe's top-five leagues have lots of time to pore over their performances from this season.

Using Opta data, we have already examined some of the worst attacking numbers from 2019-20, so now it's the turn of those ball-playing technicians: the pass-masters.

We have analysed nine key metrics for outfield players to play in at least 10 league games this season, thereby giving us a good summary of those whose passing could use some improvement. Those metrics are focused on the number of passes (overall, in a player's own half and their opponent's half), the accuracy of those passes, corners and crosses, and losing possession.

As always when it comes to data, context is key. For instance, we have included overall accuracy percentages to give balance to the simple number of passes. A team's playmaker or set-piece taker, for example, is arguably more likely to have a larger number of misplaced passes than team-mates simply because he will be attempting more of them, and often in difficult areas.

It's also worth noting that the number of times possession has been lost excludes 'Hoofs' (which, by their nature, make losing the ball more common), while corner and crossing accuracy is taken only from those to attempt, on average, at least one per game.

That said, the below gives a good indication of some passing figures that need improvement - and there are one or two surprising names...

THE WORST PASSING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most passes failed: Robert Andrich (291)
Worst passing accuracy: Anthony Modeste (55.4 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Jamilu Collins (110)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Kai Proger (60.5 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Sebastian Andersson (215)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Anthony Modeste (42.1 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Filip Kostic (199)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Wendell (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost: Filip Kostic (616)

LALIGA:

Most passes failed: Leandro Cabrera (352)
Worst passing accuracy: Enric Gallego (48.6 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Pervis Estupinan (94)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Sergio Leon (57.1 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Joselu (283)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Leandro Cabrera (43.5 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Jesus Navas (134)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Karim Benzema (0 of 19)
Most times possession lost: Pervis Estupinan (534)

LIGUE 1:

Most passes failed: Issiaga Sylla (281)
Worst passing accuracy: Suk Hyun-jun (44.8 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Fabien Centonze (111)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Suk Hyun-jun (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Andy Delort (238)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half:  Suk Hyun-jun (44.4 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Mathieu Dossevi (142)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): M'Baye Niang (0 of 11)
Most times possession lost: Angel Di Maria (539)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most passes failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (480)
Worst passing accuracy: Christian Benteke (52.4 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Cesar Azpilicueta (132)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Matej Vydra (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (359)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Christian Benteke (48 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (246)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Gabriel Martinelli (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (867)

SERIE A:

Most passes failed: Stefano Sabelli (324)
Worst passing accuracy: Lautaro Martinez (59.5 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Stefano Sabelli (94)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Stefano Sabelli (230)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Florian Aye (58.5 per cent)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Roberto Inglese (54 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Erick Pulgar (134)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Kevin Lasagna (0 from 13)
Most possession lost: Stefano Sabelli (494)

AND THE TOP NINE:

Most passes failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (480)
Worst passing accuracy: Suk Hyun-jun (44.8 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Cesar Azpilicueta (132)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Suk Hyun-jun and Matej Vydra (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Trent Alexander-Arnold (359)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Anthony Modeste (42.1 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (246)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Wendell and Gabriel Martinelli (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost: Trent Alexander-Arnold (867)

Real Madrid are reportedly preparing for a rebuild and Erling Haaland and Sadio Mane are their top transfer targets.

The LaLiga club appear set for a busy close season amid links to numerous players.

While Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is said to be a target, it seems Madrid have other priorities.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND, MANE TOP TARGETS FOR REAL MADRID

Borussia Dortmund forward Haaland and Liverpool star Mane are Real Madrid's top targets, according to the Daily Express.

The report says Aubameyang is also wanted at the Santiago Bernabeu, but is behind Haaland and Mane.

Real Madrid were two points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Real Madrid and the LaLiga giants are tracking Sao Paulo midfielder Igor Gomes, according to AS. A Brazil youth international, Gomes, 21, has been compared to former AC Milan star Kaka.

- Ousmane Dembele is seemingly unwanted at Barcelona and could be set for a move. Sport reports Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp want Dembele, who has struggled with injuries since joining the LaLiga club.

- Barcelona are continuing their bid to land Lautaro Martinez. Sport claims left-back Junior Firpo could be part of a deal to bring the Inter star to Camp Nou. It says Inter, and Roma, are interested in the left-back and Barca would want the €18million they paid Real Betis for Junior last year.

- Manchester United could be set to make a big move this close season. The Daily Star reports the Premier League club are confident of landing Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez for a club-record £135m (€150.8m).

- Perhaps Manchester United had another target. However, Sport says Real Madrid have told United that midfielder Federico Valverde is worth his incredible release clause – £448m (€500m).

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan is loving life in Rome. The Daily Mail reports the midfielder, who is on loan at Roma from Arsenal, wants to stay at the club and hopes they can agree to a €11.2m (£10m) deal.

Borussia Dortmund will respect Jadon Sancho's decision if he decides to leave the club, according to Hans-Joachim Watzke.

With Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona all reportedly interested in signing the 20-year-old, Dortmund CEO Watzke admitted it would be up to Sancho to determine his own future – but warned there will be no cut-price deal for the forward.

The England international had scored 14 goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances before the 2019-20 season was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Watzke still hopeful of retaining his services.

"Even before the coronavirus outbreak, we said that we prefer that Jadon stays with us," Watzke told Bild.

"At the end of the day, however, you always have to respect what the player wants."

With Sancho, Gio Reyna and Erling Haaland impressing this season, Watzke issued a message to other clubs who might be hoping to poach Dortmund's rising stars in the next transfer window.

"I'll say clearly say that even the very rich clubs shouldn't believe that they can come here to snap up bargains," he said.

"We don't have to sell anyone for less than they're worth."

Ex-Germany captain Philipp Lahm has warned football is in an "existential crisis" and players' behaviour will face intense public scrutiny during the coronavirus crisis.

The 2014 World Cup-winning skipper says German football in particular must protect its core strengths during the leagues' lockdown.

With no prospect of a swift resumption, the Bundesliga season has been suspended until April 30, although that is also likely to be set back.

Lahm, in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, has urged footballers to show a social conscience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the game's stars have given large donations to charity, while clubs, suddenly hit by a financial crisis, have sought for players to accept significant pay cuts until they can return to work.

The willingness to make sacrifices is one that 36-year-old former Bayern Munich great Lahm believes will be closely watched by fans.

"Football can even emerge stronger from the crisis under one condition: if players and officials act as role models in public through their social behaviour," Lahm said.

"The fundraisers of coaches and players show they have a sense of responsibility. It's a good time to give something back to the society that carries our sport and the people who love football."

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski and his wife Anna have made a €1million donation to a coronavirus-fighting fund, with a number of team-mates also contributing major sums.

Lahm, who retired from playing in 2017, said: "Football is just at the moment in an existential crisis, so solidarity is needed."

He spoke in the interview of the need to "maintain structures that characterise German football", including its youth development, stadiums, training set-ups and public approval.

Like everyone, Lahm is waiting for the day football can safely resume.

"Football will recover quickly," he added, "as soon as the risk of transmission is contained by an appropriate vaccine."

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has acknowledged the 2019-20 season across Europe would likely be lost if football is unable to restart by the end of June.

The 2019-20 season has been suspended indefinitely across most of Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Euro 2020 also pushed back to 2021.

While leagues are hoping to restart between the end of April and the beginning of June, there is as yet no definite return date and Ceferin has conceded it may be impossible to finish the season at all.

In that case, UEFA's president has suggested the campaign would have to be considered as null and void.

"If we don't succeed in restarting, the season will probably be lost," Ceferin told Italian publication La Repubblica.

"There is a plan A, B and C. The three options are to start again in mid-May, in June or at the end of June.

"There is also the possibility of starting again at the beginning of the next [season], starting the following one later. We will see the best solution for leagues and clubs."

Some matches on the continent, including Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund, were played behind closed doors earlier this month, and Ceferin stated playing games without fans in attendance may be the only solution in order to complete the season.

"It's hard for me to imagine all the matches behind closed doors, but we still don't know whether we'll resume, with or without spectators," he said.

"If there was no alternative, it would be better to finish the championships."

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insists a swap deal involving David Alaba and Leroy Sane has "nothing to do with reality".

The futures of both Bayern utility man Alaba and Manchester City winger Sane remain unclear as the two are on deals that run out in 2021.

The noise surrounding Austria international Alaba, 27, has only intensified since he reportedly hired a new agent, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea all mooted as possible destinations.

Sane, who is yet to play in the Premier League this season due to a knee injury, is a long-time target for Bayern and the Bundesliga leaders could reignite their interest once the transfer window reopens, though a simple swap deal involving Alaba has been dismissed by Rummenigge.

"As I've heard, rumours are circulating that we would like to hand David Alaba over to Manchester City in exchange for Leroy Sane," he told TZ.

"In addition, I say very clearly: This is Grimm's Fairy Tale and has nothing to do with reality."

On the suggestion a swap had been proposed by Alaba's agent, Rummenigge added: "I would like to say very clearly that this is not an option for Bayern at all, we are not in the bazaar."

Alaba is one of a host of long-serving players whose current deal with Bayern expires after next season.

Manuel Neuer, Thiago Alcantara and Thomas Muller, all of whom had been in fine form before the Bundesliga campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, are also coming to the end of their contracts.

"I would like to emphasise that we are currently only talking to players whose contracts expire in 2021," Rummenigge said.

"So, with Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Thiago, David Alaba et cetera. They all have great merits for FC Bayern, that has to be taken into account."

Bayern Munich's DFB-Pokal semi-final clash with Eintracht Frankfurt has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, as has the last-four fixture between Saarbrucken and Bayer Leverkusen.

Holders Bayern, who defeated RB Leipzig 3-0 in last season's final, were due to host Frankfurt on either April 21 or 22, while Leverkusen were scheduled to visit fourth-tier side Saarbrucken.

However, it was confirmed on Friday that both matches will not take place on the planned dates due to the continued threat of COVID-19.

The Bundesliga has been suspended since March 13 and is on hold until April 30 at the earliest.

There have been 49,344 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 321 people having died.

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