Coronavirus: Juventus not expecting Ronaldo & other foreign stars to return before May 18

Goal.com

Juventus will not be in a rush to call back their foreign players who have chosen to leave Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite confirmation that individual training sessions could start again on May 4.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced on April 26 that, from May 4 onwards, "professional athletes and those of national interest will be able to train while following social distancing rules behind closed doors".

Sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora added that team training would be allowed from May 18, should "conditions of safety and security" be confirmed prior to that date.

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Despite the optimism over resuming the 2019-20 Serie A campaign Juve are reluctant to put pressure on their first-team players to return, with a select number having made the decision to isolate themselves abroad.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been in Madeira with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez and his children, while former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is currently in Poland and Adrien Rabiot is back in his homeland in France.

Midfielder Miralem Pjanic has returned to Turin but there a number of the club's South American stars who are not currently present in Italy.

That includes Danilo, Alex Sandro and Douglas Costa, while Gonzalo Higuain is back in Argentina with his mother, who is battling cancer.

Indeed, Juve are understanding of the delicate situation involving Higuain but Goal has learned that the former Real Madrid and Chelsea forward intends to return as soon as the club require him to do so, and that he does not want to damage his relationship with the Serie A leaders.

Despite the recommendations around returning to training, it's unclear exactly when Serie A will be given the green light to continue, with teams having 12 and 13 matches of the 2019-20 league campaign still to play.

Cristiano Ronaldo coronavirus quarantine
Cristiano Ronaldo coronavirus quarantine

Spadafora added on the situation: "The FIGC (Italian football federation) presented a protocol last night (April 25) and the scientific committee considered it insufficient, so it needs adjustments. Only from that moment, when the protocol is agreed, can we decide whether or not to restart football.

"Many leagues around Europe have terminated their seasons early, but Serie A is not inclined towards suspending the season or even training. We are receiving very strong pressure to resume.

"We realise that the world of football deserves respect and support, as it is one of the largest economic resources in the country."

Elsewhere in Europe, the Eredivisie has announced that the 2019-20 season has been brought to a close, while talks over the resumption of the Premier League have been continuing, with clubs due to meet on May 1 to discuss plans to continue in June.

In Ligue 1, meanwhile, Goal France has published details of the recommendations from the association of doctors of professional football clubs (AMCFP) that have been given to the two top divisions in the country and could be approved by government in the next 24 hours.

Those proposals include measures such as temperature tests for the players upon arrival at training centres, the requirement of medical masks to be worn except during physical activity and in the situation of three new cases of Covid-19 being discovered, the entire team would need to self-isolate.

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