Premier League clubs have been tipped to consider the use of ‘coronavirus testing machines’ that would allow players to be checked for COVID-19 daily ahead of a possible return to training for most teams next month.
All football in England has been on hold since mid-March. The latest formal talks removed a set end date for the suspension, which will now be in place indefinitely until the government declares it is safe to resume, but presumably still under strict controls even when it is.
There remains hope that matches may be able to start behind closed doors in June, with the Daily Mirror reporting that a number of clubs have told players to prepare for a return to training at some point in May.
The newspaper suggests the possibility of having coronavirus testing machines at every training ground would allow for strict monitoring. With the potential for people to be carriers for several days without symptoms, it would limit the chance of spreading if a player became infected.
Once players resume training, it is said there could be a ‘mini pre-season’ lasting two or three weeks before games begin with the intent to conclude the campaign as soon as possible.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne recently warned against games taking place too soon after training can resume because of the threat of injuries.
“When you are idle for six weeks, normally you need a preparation of three to four weeks. If we restart immediately, everyone will be injured after a few games,” the Belgian said.
It has also been recently rumoured that in order to minimise the impact of the delay, there could be as little as a two-week break between the end of the 2019/20 campaign and the start of 2020/21.
The Mirror adds that plans are very specifically being made for games to be played behind closed doors, a measure which has the potential to extend into next season as it is said it could end up being 2021 before fans are allowed back into stadiums.