Juventus recall players from abroad as Serie A prepares for return

Goal.com

Juventus have requested all its players who are currently abroad to return to Italy as Serie A clubs step up their plans to resume training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Italian football teams have been given permission to resume training from Monday after the government brought forward the easing of lockdown restrictions for team sports.

Team sports were initially required to wait a further two weeks before training centres would open again, but the government has given the go-ahead for athletes to return on May 4 instead.

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A number of clubs including Roma, Napoli, Sassuolo and Inter Milan have already declared their intentions to resume training, with Juve now joining them.

Any Bianconeri players returning from abroad will have to spend 14 days in isolation before they can begin training.

Those already in Italy will be able to resume training on Tuesday or Wednesday this week, though they will be restricted to individual sessions initially, with full team training expected to begin from May 18.

Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sami Khedira, Wojciech Szczesny and Douglas Costa were among the players given permission to return to their native countries and be with their families during the outbreak.

Juve team-mates Blaise Matuidi, Paulo Dybala and Daniele Rugani all tested positive for the virus in March and were required to self-isolate during their recovery.

Serie A, like all major leagues across Europe, has been suspended since March due to the Covid-19 crisis, which has killed more than 244,500 people worldwide.

There have been question marks over whether the 2019-20 season will be completed at all given the scale of the shutdown, though the postponement of Euro 2020 by UEFA has given leagues across Europe the time to complete their campaigns over the summer.

Despite being afforded that extra time, leagues in France, Belgium and the Netherlands have all been declared over, though their counterparts in England, Italy, Germany and Spain are exploring the options of returning soon.

All 20 Serie A clubs voted in favour of resuming the league whenever possible at an emergency meeting on Friday, though it is dependent on government approval. The president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Gabriele Gravina, has warned against ending the season prematurely, saying it would be the “death of Italian football”.

Defending champions Juventus were a point clear of Lazio after 26 games at the time of postponement.

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