Javier Tebas is hoping LaLiga can get back underway in mid-June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

LaLiga was suspended last month due to COVID-19, which has killed more than 218,000 people worldwide.

The Ligue 1 and Eredivisie seasons have been ended early and there is uncertainty over when, and if, numerous other leagues will resume.

But Tebas, the LaLiga president, is hopeful Spain's top flight is back underway in June.

"I hope the league can resume in mid-June," he told Movistar+ on Tuesday.

"There is time, no need to run. In June we can start the competition again. We have until June 28.

"We look forward to starting training again, we will see the date, but I see that we can finish the competition, which is very important."

Barcelona held a two-point lead over Real Madrid when the LaLiga season was suspended with 11 games left to play.

Spain has been hit hard by coronavirus, with more than 232,100 confirmed cases and a death toll exceeding 23,800.

Barcelona's Arthur is reportedly heading to Juventus, while Liverpool are targeting a forward.

Arthur has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants, and it seems that could be getting closer.

Enter the Serie A champions.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA, JUVENTUS IN TALKS OVER ARTHUR

Barcelona and Juventus are in advanced negotiations for Arthur, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says Juve coach Maurizio Sarri wants Arthur, while Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentancur and Federico Bernardeschi are linked with moves in the opposite direction.

Arthur, 23, joined Barcelona from Gremio in 2018.

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are reportedly eyeing a forward. Le 10 Sport reports the Premier League leaders are interested in Lille's Victor Osimhen and talks have already begun between the parties.

- Philippe Coutinho's future remains uncertain. Sport reports Barcelona are considering keeping the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich, beyond this season.

- Could James Rodriguez and Carlo Ancelotti be reunited? Sport says the Everton manager has asked the Premier League club to sign the attacker, with the duo having worked together at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

- Out of contract next year, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is linked with a move away from Arsenal. The Sun reports the Premier League club are looking to sell the forward for just £30million.

- Edinson Cavani is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain when his deal expires at the end of the season. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the striker has offered himself to Inter, who have been linked with moves for a forward amid speculation over Lautaro Martinez's future.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is eager to win a trophy this season, but is prepared to wait to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The LaLiga season was suspended last month due to COVID-19, which has killed more than 217,000 people worldwide.

Clubs are nearing a return to training in Spain and the season could reportedly resume in June.

Ramos wants to deliver more silverware for Madrid, who were second in LaLiga and in the Champions League last 16 when the campaign was stopped.

"Everyone's health is not going to be put at risk. I am looking forward to playing again, returning to compete, playing in LaLiga and the Champions League," he said, via AS, while hosting Ramos UNICEF Day.

"I am hungry to end the season with a title, but first we have to wait for the people who know about all of this to make the appropriate decisions."

Spain has been hit hard by coronavirus, with more than 232,000 reported cases and a death toll exceeding 23,800.

Ramos called on people to continue following the guidelines in the country.

"We can't think that everything has already been achieved yet, the seriousness of the matter is still with us," the defender said.

"We have to comply with the guidelines in order to end this virus and give scientists the time to find a vaccine."

Andre Onana confirmed he wanted to leave Ajax, saying he was ready "to take a step" amid links with a move to Barcelona.

Onana, 24, has starred during the past four seasons with the Eredivisie giants, where he arrived from Barca in 2015.

The Cameroon goalkeeper has attracted interest from across Europe, with Barcelona, Chelsea and Tottenham among the clubs linked with a move for the shot-stopper.

Onana, who is contracted at Ajax until 2022, said he was ready to make a move.

"Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with Ajax and I am very grateful to the club," he told AD on Tuesday.

"It was five great years here, but now my time has come to take a step. We made that appointment last year.

"I don't yet know what will happen, but my ambitions and agreements are clear."

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez says footballers will be able to return to individual training with their clubs from next Monday.

LaLiga's season was suspended indefinitely on March 23 due to the coronavirus crisis, with strict lockdown measures applied in Spain.

Those restrictions are being gradually eased and Sanchez on Tuesday announced players will be allowed to train on their own at club facilities from the start of next week.

The prime minister added group training sessions would not be allowed until May 18.

There was no word on when the season might be able to resume, with a potential June return talked of despite warnings from the likes of FIFA's medical chief Michel D'Hooghe that there should be no matches until late August or September.

Sanchez revealed that four phases for the easing of restrictions have been agreed by minister counsels, subject to developments.

He said: "The first phase, or phase 0, is the phase of preparation for the transition period where we are currently are.

"Another example would be the resumption of individual training for professional athletes and the basic training for professional leagues.

"Within the phase one or initial phase, depending on some factors, the beginning of some activities will be allowed.

"In the sports world, it is believed high training centres and intermediate training sessions for professional leagues can be opened.

"Therefore, we will be in the new normality by the end of June if we are able to control the evolving of the pandemic in every single territory."

France's Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 campaigns were ended on Tuesday when French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced that professional football will not be able to resume before September.

That followed the decisions to cancel the Eredivisie season last week and the domestic campaign in Argentina.

 

Lionel Messi was always showing signs he was headed for greatness from the days he rotated between Barcelona's B side and the first team and his legacy will be impossible to surpass, says Samuel Eto'o.

Former Cameroon striker Eto'o was a team-mate of Argentina great Messi from 2004 until he departed for Inter in July 2009 as part of the deal that took Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Camp Nou.

Eto'o was part of a devastating Barca attack that also included Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho and he won three LaLiga titles, two Champions Leagues and a Copa del Rey at Camp Nou.

The 39-year-old had a first-hand view of Messi's development from raw talent to world superstar and said it was a matter of time before he became one of the best on the planet.

Speaking courtesy of LaLiga, Eto'o said: "He would move between the B team and the first team, and he was very good.

"We already knew back then that Messi would one day be what he's become. I'm very happy because he's achieved that through his own hard work."

Eto'o says one of the most pleasing aspects of Messi's success is the way he has managed to stay grounded during a sensational career that has seen him become a six-time Ballon d'Or winner and doubts any player can better his achievements.

"He hasn't changed at all. He's still the good person that I knew back then and that I still know," he added.

"He recently said 'thanks to Samuel', thanks to my advice – that I won't reveal here – that his career changed. 

"Back then he had to iron out a few things but he's always had that talent. I'm proud and happy to see the story that he's written and that hasn't ended yet.

"It's going to be very difficult, impossible even, to surpass his legacy.

"The most important thing for me is his character. Everyone appreciates him, adores him as a player.

"But he's a wonderful guy and I'm proud to still be among his friends."

UEFA has requested all top European leagues be in a position to communicate their plans to finish the 2019-20 by May 25.

The deadline was put forward as part of the governing body's guidelines on eligibility principles for 2020-21 UEFA club competitions.

Following a meeting of its executive committee last week, UEFA strongly recommended all leagues on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic be completed where possible.

It proposed top divisions could be seen out with a different format, or, where resumption is not feasible, national associations could decide places for next season's continental competitions "on sporting merit".

UEFA expects all leagues to have a plan in place for how they will proceed ahead of the next executive committee meeting on May 27.

The organisation's guidelines read: "National associations and/or leagues should be in a position to communicate to UEFA by May 25, 2020 the planned restart of their domestic competitions including the date of restart and the relevant competition format.

"In the event that a domestic competition is to be prematurely terminated for legitimate reasons in accordance with [conditions set out by the executive committee], UEFA would require the national association to explain by May 25, 2020 … the special circumstances justifying such premature termination and to select clubs for UEFA club competitions 2020-21 on the basis of sporting merit in the 2019-20 domestic competitions."

Bundesliga clubs have returned to training and could be back on the pitch from May 9, while Serie A teams are expected to be able to practice together the following week.

The situation remains unclear in the Premier League, LaLiga and Ligue 1.

After professional sports were banned in the Netherlands until September 1, the Eredivisie announced the cancellation of its 2019-20 season last week.

No champions were declared and there was no promotion or relegation, with European qualification determined by the table when the league was suspended.

KNVB Beker finalists Utrecht consequently missed out on a place in the Europa League qualifiers and stated they intended to legally challenge the ruling.

Former Republic of Ireland and Liverpool forward Michael Robinson has died aged 61 following a battle with skin cancer.

Robinson also represented Preston North End, Manchester City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Queens Park Rangers before moving to Osasuna for the final two and a half years of his playing career.

That paved the way for a move into punditry and broadcasting in Spain, where Robinson established himself as an authoritative and respected voice on the country's national sport.

He won 24 caps for Ireland, while a sole campaign at Anfield in 1983-84 saw him play a part in Division One, European Cup and League Cup glory.

"With tremendous sadness we inform you of Michael's death," a tweet posted to Robinson's official Twitter account on Tuesday read.

"It leaves us with a great emptiness, but also countless memories, full of the same love that you have shown him.

"We will be eternally grateful to you for making this man SO HAPPY, he never walked alone."

Robinson's standing within the Spanish football fraternity was quickly underlined as Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos offered "my love to your family and friends", while Barcelona paid tribute to "a person who loved football and who knew how to explain it with knowledge and ingenuity".

Federico Chiesa is a player in demand.

While Fiorentina would prefer to keep Chiesa, the Viola could cash-in on the Italy star.

Europe's elite from England and Italy are reportedly chasing Chiesa.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BATTLE FOR CHIESA

Manchester United are among the clubs trying to sign Fiorentina attacker Federico Chiesa, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.

United, Premier League rivals Chelsea and Serie A duo Juventus and Inter are vying for Chiesa's signature.

The 22-year-old has also reportedly been offered a new bumper contract by Fiorentina.

 

ROUND-UP

- A reunion with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic? Luka Jovic has struggled since swapping Eintracht for Real Madrid at the start of the season. Calciomercato claims Milan are interested in bringing Jovic to San Siro, where Rebic is on loan and reportedly set to make the move permanent. It comes amid doubts over Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future.

- RMC Sport says Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, who has been linked to Arsenal.

Barcelona have made an approach to Ajax for goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to De Telegraaf. Onana spent five years in Barca's youth system before leaving in 2015 but the Cameroon international has been linked with a return. LaLiga champions Barca have reportedly offered Neto, Riqui Puig, Alex Collado or Carles Alena in a possible deal for Onana.

Donny van de Beek is free to choose his next step following the cancellation of the Eredivisie season. Mundo Deportivo reports the Ajax star is still being targeted by Madrid, while United and Juve are also monitoring the Netherlands international.

- According to The Sun, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice could be sold as part of a massive squad overhaul. The England international has been linked to Chelsea.

RB Leipzig are facing a difficult decision regarding star defender Dayot Upamecano, says BildThe centre-back has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham, Barca and Bayern Munich but the coronavirus crisis is set to impact the transfer market and fees.

Sergio Aguero does not understand criticism directed at Lionel Messi for Argentina, insisting the superstar is the "first to suffer " and continues to make himself available for the national team.

Messi has won everything on offer during his time as a Barcelona player – the Champions League, LaLiga, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana.

However, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is yet to taste senior success in an Argentina jersey following a runners-up finish at the 2014 World Cup, having also reached back-to-back Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016.

Messi excluded himself from international selection after Argentina's last-16 exit at the 2018 World Cup, before returning and helping the country to the Copa America semi-final last year.

The 32-year-old continues to be criticised for his Argentina performances but countryman Aguero defended his team-mate.

"I do not understand those who criticise him in the national team," Aguero told TyC Sports. "He is the first to suffer and continues to come."

The coronavirus pandemic has brought sport to a standstill, with the Premier League and LaLiga among the leagues on hiatus, while the 2020 Copa America has been pushed back to next year.

The Premier League has been suspended since last month and it remains to be seen when, and if, the 2019-20 campaign will resume.

Manchester City star Aguero is contracted until 2021 and the Argentine forward has been linked with a return to boyhood club Independiente.

But Aguero does not know what the future holds, adding: "For now, I'm not thinking about what to do. With all this, the clubs are having problems.

"Up until next year it can be extended for two months or more. There are players who end contracts this year and if it is played in July, August or September, the clubs are going to have problems.

"I don't know if they can renew with players for three months or six. The first thing is to end this season and hit everything next."

Inter star Lautaro Martinez should reject a move to Barcelona as he would be a substitute at the LaLiga champions, according to Fabio Capello.

Martinez is reportedly Barca's prime transfer target as the Spanish giants look to sign a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez.

Also linked to Real Madrid and Manchester City, Martinez had scored 16 goals in 31 games across all competitions before the coronavirus pandemic brought sport to a standstill.

But former Madrid, Milan and Juventus head coach Capello urged the Argentina international to remain at Inter.

"If it were me I'd stay at Inter," Capello told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"At Barcelona he'd be a substitute."

Martinez has a €111million release clause and Inter are unwilling to accept anything less amid Barca's reported interest.

But the COVID-19 crisis, which has wreaked havoc across the world, is set to impact football finances and the transfer market.

"The market will be revolutionised," Capello added. "Absurd numbers had been seen, but now we'll return to a more reasonable level.

"It seems to me that the only team in Spain who won't be destroyed by the pandemic are Real Madrid.

"Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are going to suffer a lot."

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui has warned LaLiga that clubs will need at least five weeks' notice to prepare for a return to action following the suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

LaLiga has been on hiatus since early March due to COVID-19, which has been contracted by more people in Spain – almost 230,000 – than any other country in Europe.

A total of 23,521 people in Spain have died after catching the virus, but Monday's death toll of 288 was the lowest it has been since March 20, and that followed the government's decision to begin easing lockdown measures on Sunday.

LaLiga's indefinite suspension was announced on March 23, but with signs of improvement in Spain, attentions are beginning to turn towards sport and a potential resumption of the football season.

League president Javier Tebas has expressed a desire to get the season under way once again behind closed doors, but with no specific dates put forward, Lopetegui is convinced clubs should be allowed a minimum of five weeks to get back in shape.

"The circumstances and guarantees have to be in place and then we have to have a certain amount of time," Lopetegui, whose Sevilla side are third in LaLiga, told Sport.

"The end of the season is going to be an experiment because we do not know what's going to happen. We have to be calm and wait, giving importance to public health.

"What I can assure is this will be nothing like a return after a summer break. Neither the form nor the mind is going to be 20 per cent of what it would be in a normal pre-season.

"We are clear on that. I think when the circumstances allow, with the guarantees from the government, a period of adaption will be necessary to preserve the other part of the health, not just the virus.

"Don't forget that in LaLiga and the Segunda, everyone imagines big houses, but that's not the majority.

"We are all humans, with concerns, there have been cases [of the virus] in teams. All that's going on is not removed from any profession and it affects the players.

"We will have to speak about preparation time but, as a manager, I see we will need a minimum of five weeks to be in a situation where we can play every three days in a setting that no one has experienced before, not just playing behind closed doors, but after everything this nightmare has provoked. We have to be in the best physical condition."

Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite believes he will be one of LaLiga's top goalscorers when football returns as "nobody trains like I do".

The Denmark international was signed from Leganes for €18million in February after Quique Setien's side were granted special dispensation to bring in cover for the injured Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez.

Braithwaite played three league games for Barca without scoring before Spanish football was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the limitations of strict lockdown measures in Spain, Braithwaite says he has been keeping in good shape by supplementing the club's training plan for players with his own programme.

The 28-year-old hopes to be in prime condition when football resumes and expects to have plenty of chances to build on the six league goals he scored for Leganes this term.

"[Barcelona's plan] only makes up a third of my training," Braithwaite told DR. "That's because I've added a lot more to it.

"I exercise my speed and my stamina. I train in much more detail now than before, so I'll be back in much better physical shape.

"I know that there is no one who trains and works like I do. When I come back, I will be ready physically and mentally.

"When you play for Barcelona, you have so many chances. I see myself scoring a lot of goals and being one of the top scorers in the team and in the league."

LaLiga teams have been given the go-ahead to return to training, possibly as early as next month, provided they abide by government regulations on social distancing.

That followed a meeting between Spain's National Sports Council (CSD), LaLiga and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

There are reports clubs and league officials are targeting a return to league matches in early June, but health minister Salvador Illa refused to offer any guarantees when speaking at the weekend.

"I cannot say if football is going to be able to restart its activity before summer. It would be imprudent of me to offer a definitive view," he said.

Rising Chelsea star Billy Gilmour says Barcelona midfield greats Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets have helped to shape his development.

Gilmour, 18, has caught the eye this season with impressive displays for the Blues, particularly against Liverpool in the FA Cup and on his full Premier League debut against Everton.

The midfielder, who was named man of the match in that 4-0 victory over the Toffees, says he has always been inspired by watching the style of play of some of Barca's finest footballers.

"When I was young, I used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – everyone did," he told Sky Sports. "But when I started to analyse my game and think about who I would like to progress to be like, it was more like Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas – it was those players.

"It was something about how they passed the ball, receiving the ball, everything was sharp. Sergio Busquets too; when you watch Barcelona and you watch Busquets individually, everything happens around him.

"Those are the kind of players I looked up to, getting on the ball and making things happen."

Gilmour left Rangers for Chelsea in 2017 and admits it was the Premier League club's long-term planning that convinced him it was the right move.

"At the time [of moving], I didn't really know what was going to happen," he said. "But when I went down, saw everything and they had a plan, it was unbelievable. It was a dream. I always wanted to go and play in the Premier League to test myself and see what my limit is.

"When I first came, I'd say I was more of an attacking midfielder, and then [assistant coach] Jody Morris turned me into a deeper player. To get on the ball and start play is best for me, but I am happy playing anywhere."

Speaking of his standout performance in the 2-0 win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, he added: "There were parts that I felt were difficult, but when I got on the ball I felt good. I had players running off, so it was making it easy for me.

"It was a great, great game so I was happy to play well. And then receiving the man of the match, it was amazing. I never thought of it, I just wanted to play the game well, not muck up anything, and play the game right.

"To get first-team experience against Liverpool, the best team in the world right now, felt good."

Neymar appears likely to remain at Paris Saint-Germain for another season, while Newcastle United have big plans.

Linked again with a return to Barcelona, Neymar could yet stay in Paris, where he is contracted 2022.

Meanwhile, Newcastle – reportedly on the verge of being taken over – are considering some big names.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR SET FOR PSG STAY AMID BARCELONA LINKS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and troubles at Barcelona, Neymar looks set to stay at PSG for another season, according to Marca.

It also reported that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is struggling to find the financial formula to sign the Brazil forward.

Neymar only arrived at PSG from Barca in a world-record €222million move in 2017.

ROUND-UP

- Newcastle could have money to spend if their proposed takeover goes through. Mundo Deportivo reports the club are looking at Barcelona attacker Philippe Coutinho, who it says is also a target for Everton. Foot Mercato claims Newcastle are eyeing PSG striker Edinson Cavani, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Real Betis forward Nabil Fekir.

- Like they are struggling with Neymar, Barcelona are battling to find a deal for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez, according to Sky Sport Italia, which says the LaLiga side are struggling to meet the Argentina international's €111m release clause.

- Paul Pogba's future remains a talking point. Tuttosport says Manchester United are open to an exchange deal with Juventus, with Aaron Ramsey and Douglas Costa among the players linked with a move to Old Trafford.

- Barcelona are still a long way off reaching an agreement with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, according to Sport. Ter Stegen is contracted at Barca until 2022. Meanwhile, Sport reports Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana is prioritising a move to Barcelona if he leaves the Eredivisie giants.

- Perhaps Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Arsenal after all. Sport reports the forward, whose deal ends in 2021, will renew with the Premier League club. Staying at Arsenal and the Daily Express says Arsenal are considering a move for Barcelona attacker Ousmane Dembele.

- A youth product who has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona, Sergi Roberto has gone from untouchable to transferable, according to Marca.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.