Jurgen Klopp is not bothered about when or where Liverpool lift the Premier League title as it will be an "absolutely exceptional day" regardless of the circumstances.

The English top flight is set to resume on June 17 following a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Liverpool requiring a maximum of two more wins to seal top spot.

However, the police have asked for six of the division's remaining 92 matches - including the game in which the Reds can wrap up the title - to be moved to a neutral venue.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters revealed on Friday a decision over where Liverpool's remaining games will be played is expected to be made by the end of next week.

But Klopp is not convinced his side will have to play at neutral grounds and even if that is the case he is simply happy they will have a chance win a first league title in 30 years on the pitch.

"In the moment for me whenever it will be, in an empty stadium blah, blah, blah, with all the thoughts and prayers and love from the people all around the world it will still be an absolutely exceptional day in my life," he told beIN SPORTS.

"Wherever it will be I don't know - we hope it will be at Anfield but we don't know and that's not important. I'm pretty sure that we can solve the situation here as well in Liverpool.

"We waited a while for this situation and it's not done yet; if we had stopped the league, or it would not have happened, the silly null and void stuff. 

"We wanted to play anyway and now we are really desperate to play because we want to become champions on the pitch and it looks like we can do that.

"It will not be perfect but we knew for a while it would not be perfect so we are used to that. We want to have it and then we will see how it feels. I am pretty sure it will feel pretty good.

"Most of the people on this planet never have the chance to become champions of the Premier League. For us, it looks like we have the chance, so we take it."

Social distancing rules remain in place in the United Kingdom and Klopp stressed the importance of supporters staying away from Anfield over the coming weeks.

"I heard a day ago a really good phrase, that we have the best home fans in the world, and now we need the best stay-at-home fans in the world," he said.

"There will be a moment in our life when we have time and the opportunity and it's allowed to celebrate together then we will have a moment, and we will celebrate it in the right manner. Whenever that will be, then we decide how much we enjoy it then.

"So who cares, that's really not so important. We just want to be together in that moment and we will see how much close contact is allowed at the time."

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers says he has made a full recovery after contracting coronavirus shortly after the Premier League season was suspended.

Rodgers revealed in March three Leicester players had displayed symptoms of COVID-19 and were isolating as a precautionary measure. 

Football in England's top flight was suspended days later, but players recently returned to training and games are set to resume from June 17.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has previously discussed his struggle with the respiratory disease, and Rodgers has likened the symptoms to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

"Me and my wife had it just after [the season] broke up. A week later I really started to struggle, I had no smell and no taste," he told the BBC.

"I had no strength, and I really struggled, and my wife was the same as well. I got tested and we both had it. I could hardly walk.

"It reminded me of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, as you climb higher you get more breathless.

"Walking 10 yards felt very different. I went for a run and I just couldn't do it. I felt really weak, had no real appetite, and had a weird sensation for three weeks of having no taste."

Leicester were third in the table before the shutdown and are scheduled to return to action with a trip to Watford.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters accepts a small number of this season's remaining games may have to be staged at neutral venues.

The English top flight is set to resume on June 17 following a three-month hiatus owing to the coronavirus pandemic, with 92 matches still to be played.

Each of those fixtures will be behind closed doors and the police have requested that six games, including at least three Liverpool matches, be moved to a neutral venue.

Masters acknowledges that may be the only way forward if the competition is to be played to its conclusion, with a decision expected to be made by the end of next week.

"It's our preference to play the games where they were originally planned home and away but there are some concerns," he told Sky Sports News. 

"We'll have a clearer picture in the next seven to 10 days but we hope the amount of games will be low. 

"[The police] have legitimate concerns but we think we can mitigate some of the issues they're trying to deal with. 

"Ultimately, we want the season to be played out on the pitch and we're discussing a number of options to make it as fair as possible."

Liverpool need two wins to finish top and Masters intends to uphold tradition by allowing them to lift the trophy once they get over the line, regardless of the venue.

"Well they've got to complete the task first, as you know, and I think we'll do everything we possibly can to deliver a trophy presentation," he said.

"I think there's a way of doing it, but safely and within the regulations. I think it's really important to be able to mark that moment because of all the efforts that have gone into it.

"Not just for the players, the staff, the coaches, the managers, the team behind the scenes, but also for the fans to be able to have that moment and a memory to mark it with."

However, Masters says there is still work to be done to ensure the Premier League gets a formal green light to kick off in less than three weeks.

"We have put a new staging post in the ground to start on June 17 but to get there we have got to go through a lot of hard work and more consultation to get our stage three protocols agreed," he added.

"There is still a lot of work to be done before we can kick-off. The talks were intense. To put a new staging post in the ground wasn't a vote but it was supported by everybody."

Once the headache of completing this season is over with, plans will be put in place for 2020-21, which Masters hopes will see the return of supporters to grounds.

"No one knows when matches will move away from the behind-closed-doors model and it is right to have contingency plans in place," he said.

"But there is optimism at the Premier League and at clubs that we will see fans back in the stadiums next season and it may happen on a phased basis. Hopefully it will be a huge morale boost and that is what we've been working towards.

"We've got some incredible fans in this country and we all know the Premier League as we know and love it won't be fully back until we have fans back through the turnstiles.

"Getting it back on our TV screens for people to enjoy will hopefully give the whole country a boost."

Inter have triggered their option of a one-year contract extension for Ashley Young and could yet keep Manchester United-owned Alexis Sanchez, club sporting director Piero Ausilio has confirmed.

Young, 34, joined Inter on a short-term deal until the end of the season in January, following Sanchez out of Old Trafford in the process, and he enjoyed a solid start to life in Milan prior to the coronavirus pandemic forcing a halt to the season.

The versatile wide player made five Serie A starts between joining Inter and the league's hiatus, and in those outings the club have seemingly seen enough to convince them to keep him around for another year.

Sanchez's future remains a little more uncertain. His loan from United is set to expire at the end of the season, but with first-team football under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appearing unlikely, Inter are still open to keeping the Chile international, despite reports to the contrary.

"We don't go into detail, we focus on him [Sanchez] in these months," Ausilio told Sky Sport Italia.

"He has been injured for a long time, but before he did well: I think in Barcelona and the match with Sampdoria, I saw [the] Sanchez of his best seasons in Udine and London.

"He had little time, now he has the chance to prove his worth and then we will make a decision with him.

"We think of [Inter's attacking options] as composed by [Romelu] Lukaku, Lautaro [Martinez] and then we evaluate the possibility of considering Sanchez talks. For many he is down and out of the project, but for us he can be very useful."

And, with regards to Young, Ausilio added: "We've exercised the option for Young, it is already done."

Serie A is set to resume the 2019-20 season from June 20, it was confirmed on Thursday, more than three months after it was put on hold.

Liverpool look set to clinch the Premier League title at a neutral venue as part of a request from police.

The 2019-20 top-flight season is set to return on June 17 following a lengthy delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, with all fixtures to be staged behind closed doors.

Most will take place at the scheduled venues, though local police have asked for six – including the game in which Jurgen Klopp's side could wrap up the league – to be moved.

The Reds sit 25 points clear at the top of the table and require just two more victories to be crowned champions for the first time in 30 years.

The Merseyside derby is among the list revealed by police, as well as Liverpool's trips to reigning champions Manchester City and Newcastle United.

City's clash with Newcastle is also included, plus Manchester United against Sheffield United.

Deputy chief constable Mark Roberts – the national football policing lead – said in a statement: "Our discussions with the Premier League throughout this process have been positive, with a shared focus on the priority of public health.

"As such we have reached a consensus that balances the needs of football, while also minimising the demand on policing. The majority of remaining matches will be played at home and away as scheduled, with a small number of fixtures taking place at neutral venues, which, contrary to some reports, have yet to be agreed.

"The views and agreement of forces which host Premier League clubs have been sought and where there were concerns, the Premier League has been supportive in providing flexibility in arranging alternative venues where requested.

"This plan will be kept continually under review to ensure public health and safety and a key part of this is for supporters to continue to respect the social distancing guidelines, and not to attend or gather outside the stadiums."

Ryan Giggs has been so impressed by "fantastic" Liverpool this season that he is trying to get his Wales team to play like Jurgen Klopp's side. 

The Reds' relentless pace in the Premier League has been too much for their challengers, with Liverpool having built up a 25-point lead over Manchester City prior to the season being paused in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

It was confirmed on Thursday that the top flight will resume on June 17 and Liverpool need just two more wins from their final nine fixtures to guarantee a first domestic title in three decades. 

Much of the past 30 years since has been dominated by Manchester United, with whom Giggs won 13 Premier League titles, but the Wales boss has nothing but admiration for Klopp's current crop. 

"With the obvious pause in the season because of COVID-19, I think there's a lot of questions still to be answered," Giggs told Sky Sports. 

"But I think what we have seen this year is Liverpool are a fantastic team, managed by a great coach in Jurgen Klopp and, it pains me to say it as a United fan, but they have been fantastic this season.

"Obviously they'll go on and, whatever way it is, they'll win the league and deserve it.

"They've had two brilliant seasons actually, last year pushing Man City all the way. They're a great team to watch.

"There were certain things that I've taken out of the way that Liverpool play, and taking it on to the way that I want to do with Wales.

"Hopefully United will bridge that gap and catch them up. But you have to give credit where credit is due and Liverpool have been fantastic this season."

United, now managed by Giggs' former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, are fifth in the Premier League, 37 points behind Liverpool.

Could Spain international Fabian Ruiz be set for a return to his homeland?

Former Real Betis star Fabian, who now plays for Napoli in Serie A, is a reported target for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The Spanish rivals are trying to lure Fabian back to LaLiga.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, MADRID DO BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Barcelona and Real Madrid are set to battle each other for the signing of Napoli star Fabian Ruiz, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Spanish midfielder Fabian has been linked with a return to LaLiga throughout the season, having left Real Betis for Napoli in 2018.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Napoli are expecting Barca and Madrid to go head-to-head for Fabian – who is contracted to the Serie A side until 2023.

 

ROUND-UP

- L'Equipe says Inter have made an offer for Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette. With Inter star Lautaro Martinez linked to Barca, the Nerazzurri are eyeing alternatives, however, Lacazette is not interested in swapping London for Milan.

- There could be some big changes at Madrid in 2022. AS Diario says Los Blancos want Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland to team up with Eden Hazard in a new strike force. The likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Isco will be out of contract at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Juventus are ready to negotiate a deal for Santos teenager Kaio Jorge, according to Calciomercato. Santos are demanding €30million for the 18-year-old, though Juve are only prepared to pay €15m.

- The Daily Mail claims Manchester City and Newcastle United have joined Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the race for 18-year-old Penarol winger Facundo Pellistri.

Odion Ighalo is prepared to pass on a £75m contract with Shanghai Shenhua to stay at Manchester United, reports the Daily Star. Ighalo's loan deal is set to expire at Old Trafford.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin's nightmarish Everton career has continued, with the midfielder having suffered a severe Achilles injury in training.

The midfielder, signed from Mainz in the close season as Idrissa Gueye left for Paris Saint-Germain, made just two appearances for the Toffees in August before sustaining a quadriceps injury in training.

A complication with the Ivory Coast international's recovery meant surgery was required, with Gbamin having been nearing a return to full training when the Premier League was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Premier League shareholders had agreed to resume the competition behind closed doors on June 17, but Gbamin will not be part of the fold for Everton for their nine remaining fixtures, with the club announcing the 24-year-old had sustained a serious Achilles problem that looks set to keep him out for the rest of 2020.

"Gbamin is set to undergo surgery next week after suffering a serious Achilles injury in training," a statement on Everton's website read.

"The injury, sustained in a non-contact situation at USM Finch Farm, is unrelated to the quadriceps problem Gbamin had been working his way back from since August last year.

"Everyone at the club is devastated for JP and we will ensure he gets all the support he needs throughout this challenging time."

Everton are due to resume their campaign against rivals and Premier League champions-elect Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin's nightmarish Everton career has continued, with the midfielder having suffered a severe Achilles injury in training.

The midfielder, signed from Mainz in the close season as Idrissa Gueye left for Paris Saint-Germain, made just two appearances for the Toffees in August before sustaining a quadriceps injury in training.

A complication with the Ivory Coast international's recovery meant surgery was required, with Gbamin having been nearing a return to full training when the Premier League was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Premier League shareholders had agreed to resume the competition behind closed doors on June 17, but Gbamin will not be part of the fold for Everton for their nine remaining fixtures, with the club announcing the 24-year-old had sustained a serious Achilles problem that looks set to keep him out for the rest of 2020.

"Gbamin is set to undergo surgery next week after suffering a serious Achilles injury in training," a statement on Everton's website read.

"The injury, sustained in a non-contact situation at USM Finch Farm, is unrelated to the quadriceps problem Gbamin had been working his way back from since August last year.

"Everyone at the club is devastated for JP and we will ensure he gets all the support he needs throughout this challenging time."

Everton are due to resume their campaign against rivals and Premier League champions-elect Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.

Harry Kane is poised to restart his challenge to Alan Shearer's Premier League goals record when the English top flight resumes.

A provisional start date of June 17 has been agreed by stakeholders and the Tottenham striker recently said he would be fully fit from the first game of the division's return.

Kane has not played since January 1, when he suffered a serious hamstring injury – rupturing a tendon in his left leg – during Tottenham's 1-0 defeat at Southampton.

Had the 2019-20 run to its normal calendar, Kane would have been unlikely to play much of a part, if any, of the conclusion to Spurs' season.

But the three-month halt caused by the coronavirus pandemic means Spurs now have their captain back for their final nine games, as they look to bounce back into the European places from their current position of eighth.

Kane's remarkable Premier League record all began with an April purple patch.

At the beginning of April 2014, the man who has gone on to become England captain was a lively enough Tottenham prospect, albeit struggling for game time in the Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor era.

Kane had yet to score in the English top flight, either for Spurs or in an unproductive loan spell at Norwich, although he had done better in stints in the lower leagues with Millwall, Leyton Orient and Leicester City.

His world changed thanks to a stroke of ill-fortune for Soldado, the goal-shy Spaniard injured in a thumping 4-0 defeat at Liverpool, giving Kane a chance to make his first Premier League start.

Tim Sherwood was in his final weeks as Spurs boss, but it was he who promoted Kane and a three-game scoring run was the result, changing the course of Kane's career and Tottenham's history.
 

BAD LUCK FOR BLACK CATS, BLOW TO BAGGIES, COTTAGERS CONDEMNED

Before starting against Sunderland on Monday, April 7, Kane had made eight Premier League appearances in his career - including three for Norwich - and had not netted in 170 minutes of action.

In the 2013-14 Premier League season, he had featured for only 32 minutes in four brief forays from the bench, having a mere two shots.

Sherwood and predecessor Andre Villas-Boas gave Kane plenty of domestic cup and Europa League opportunities, but an EFL Cup strike at Hull had been his only goal of the season.

Kane landed the Premier League goal he craved by prodding home a Christian Eriksen cross from the left in a 5-1 slaying of Sunderland, before headers in the 3-3 fightback at West Brom and 3-1 home win over relegation-bound Fulham gave him three goals in 13 days.

STILL ROUGH AROUND THE EDGES

Starting from the Sunderland game, Kane had 26 shots in six consecutive starts, with an impressive accuracy of 73.3%, let down only by being unable to convert as many of those chances as he would have wanted. Those three in three games were his only Premier League goals of the campaign.

Opta's expected goals model - known as xG - shows that Kane might have done better. He had an xG figure of 4.56 goals for that period, but it would not be long before Kane began exceeding the forecasts of such metrics.

MAKING HIS MARK FOR POCH

Kane was back on the bench for the start of the 2014-15 season as the Mauricio Pochettino era began, but a flood of Europa League and League Cup goals led to inevitable promotion within the Spurs ranks.

He ended that campaign with 21 Premier League games in 34 appearances, netting once every 122.9 minutes of action and far exceeding his 14.46 xG prediction.

GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND

Opta's xG measurements are based on the nature of the chance falling to a player, including looking at whether opportunities are defined as big chances.

Kane has consistently surpassed the xG metrics, demonstrating how clinical he has been, often taking chances when it appeared he stood only a slim chance of scoring.

In 2015-16 he bagged 25 Premier League goals (xG: 21.75), in 2016-17 he grabbed 29 in 30 games (xG: 18.59), in 2017-18 Kane hit 30 goals in the top flight for the first time (xG: 24.79), and last season his 17 goals in 28 games defied xG of 14.77.

During the current, coronavirus-disrupted campaign, Kane has netted 11 times in 20 Premier League games (xG: 7.19), again often proving his team's driving force.

CLIMBING UP THE CHARTS

It all began with that April 2014 burst, with Kane now up to 136 Premier League goals, putting him 13th on the all-time list.

Still just 26 years old, he has plenty of time to move closer to Shearer's record of 260 goals in the competition and is within striking distance of former Tottenham favourites Teddy Sheringham (146), Les Ferdinand (149) and Jermain Defoe (162).

It is little wonder Kane has been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid, but to Spurs he is surely priceless.

Premier League clubs fearing a cancelled season could decide their fate away from the pitch can breathe a sigh of relief after it was confirmed the top flight is set to return on June 17.

The 20 clubs have either nine or 10 fixtures each still to complete and though the title race may have already nearly reached the finish line, there is plenty to be decided further down the table.

Here, we take a look at the crucial fixtures that will determine the title, European qualification and the battle to avoid relegation.

 

MD30: Tottenham v Manchester United

Scott McTominay's derby-settling winner against Manchester City had helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer build up plenty of goodwill back in March, but the United momentum has surely been halted by the lengthy break.

They have a tough assignment first up against a Tottenham side that will likely have Harry Kane back from injury.

Solskjaer, whose own squad is set to be boosted by Marcus Rashford's return, has a fine record against the 'big six', though, and a win here - against a club led by his predecessor Jose Mourinho - would boost United's top-four hopes and significantly damage their opponents'.

 

MD31: Liverpool v Crystal Palace

It is a matter of when, rather than if, the Reds wrap up their first top-flight title in three decades, with Liverpool needing just two more wins to guarantee they will be crowned champions.

Should City lose to Arsenal when the league resumes, Liverpool could seal the title across the road from Anfield with a win at Goodison Park.

But the likelihood is Klopp's side will face Palace - the team who helped derail their title bid in 2014 with the 3-3 'Crystanbul' draw - knowing victory would end their long wait for Premier League glory.

 

MD35: Sheffield United v Chelsea

Beyond Liverpool's imperious march to the title, the story of the 2019-20 Premier League season has been the Blades' magnificent campaign following promotion last term.

The top four is still a realistic possibility for Chris Wilder's side, particularly if they can win their game in hand against Aston Villa and close the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to two points, but they face a fight to qualify for the Europa League regardless.

They still have some tough fixtures left on the schedule, with Wolves, Everton and Tottenham their other three home games, but this contest against Frank Lampard's Blues will have a big say in their Europa League, or Champions League, chances.

 

MD35: Tottenham v Arsenal

Champions League regulars in recent seasons, there is a distinct possibility that neither Tottenham nor north London rivals Arsenal are even in Europe's second-tier competition next term.

Both are currently outside the top seven but within three points of Wolves and the Blades, who currently occupy the final two Europa League spots – presuming City's European ban stands.

This derby therefore has extra significance. The possibility of no European football in 2020-21 could also prompt Kane and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to seek pastures new when the transfer window reopens...

 

MD36: West Ham v Watford

The destination of the title may be a foregone conclusion but the battle to avoid the drop is far less clear.

Even Norwich City, six points adrift, will believe they can survive given they must still face West Ham, Brighton and Hove Albion and Watford.

Only goal difference currently separates West Ham and Watford from the bottom three and they meet in a pivotal contest towards the back end of the season.

 

MD38: West Ham v Aston Villa

The Hammers are no stranger to final-day drama - their draw with United in 1995 handed the title to Blackburn Rovers, while Carlos Tevez's winner at Old Trafford in 2007 helped ensure they stayed up.

David Moyes' men may need more heroics if the fight to avoid relegation goes to the wire.

Villa will begin the resumption in 19th place, two points behind West Ham, but with a game in hand. All eyes could be on London Stadium on the final day.

After what will have been a three-month absence, the Premier League is set to restart on June 17.

The first games following the coronavirus pandemic will see Manchester City take on Arsenal and Aston Villa play Sheffield United, before a full round of fixtures begins on June 19.

Liverpool are a maximum of two wins away from clinching a first title in 30 years, though they could secure the trophy against Everton at Goodison Park on matchday 30 if City lose their first match back against Arsenal.

There is also plenty to play for in the race for European qualification and the battle against the drop.

We look at the outstanding 92 games in the 2019-20 Premier League season.

Matchday 28

Aston Villa v Sheffield United
Manchester City v Arsenal

Matchday 30

Aston Villa v Chelsea
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal
Everton v Liverpool
Manchester City v Burnley
Newcastle United v Sheffield United
Norwich City v Southampton
Tottenham v Manchester United
Watford v Leicester City
West Ham v Wolves

Matchday 31

Burnley v Watford
Chelsea v Manchester City
Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Manchester United v Sheffield United
Newcastle United v Aston Villa
Norwich City v Everton
Southampton v Arsenal
Tottenham v West Ham
Wolves v Bournemouth

Matchday 32

Arsenal v Norwich City
Aston Villa v Wolves
Bournemouth v Newcastle United
Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester United
Crystal Palace v Burnley
Everton v Leicester City
Manchester City v Liverpool
Sheffield United v Tottenham
Watford v Southampton
West Ham v Chelsea

Matchday 33

Burnley v Sheffield United
Chelsea v Watford
Leicester City v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Manchester United v Bournemouth
Newcastle United v West Ham
Norwich City v Brighton and Hove Albion
Southampton v Manchester City
Tottenham v Everton
Wolves v Arsenal

Matchday 34

Arsenal v Leicester City
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Brighton and Hove Albion v Liverpool
Bournemouth v Tottenham
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Everton v Southampton
Manchester City v Newcastle United
Sheffield United v Wolves
Watford v Norwich City
West Ham v Burnley

Matchday 35

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Bournemouth v Leicester City
Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester City
Liverpool v Burnley
Manchester United v Southampton
Norwich City v West Ham
Sheffield United v Chelsea
Tottenham v Arsenal
Watford v Newcastle United
Wolves v Everton

Matchday 36

Arsenal v Liverpool
Burnley v Wolves
Chelsea v Norwich City
Crystal Palace v Manchester United
Everton v Aston Villa
Leicester City v Sheffield United
Manchester City v Bournemouth
Newcastle United v Tottenham
Southampton v Brighton and Hove Albion
West Ham v Watford

Matchday 37

Aston Villa v Arsenal
Bournemouth v Southampton
Brighton and Hove Albion v Newcastle United
Liverpool v Chelsea
Manchester United v West Ham
Norwich City v Burnley
Sheffield United v Everton
Tottenham v Leicester City
Watford v Manchester City
Wolves v Crystal Palace

Matchday 38

Arsenal v Watford
Burnley v Brighton and Hove Albion
Chelsea v Wolves
Crystal Palace v Tottenham
Everton v Bournemouth
Leicester City v Manchester United
Manchester City v Norwich City
Newcastle United v Liverpool
Southampton v Sheffield United
West Ham v Aston Villa

It might have taken a long time to be completed, but Manchester United's signing of Bruno Fernandes quickly began to look like one of this season's best pieces of business.

While the player himself insisted he was not responsible for an upturn in form that saw the Red Devils go 11 games unbeaten in all competitions, few can deny the impact he has made since joining in January for an initial fee of £46.5million (€55m).

In fact, his form saw him rewarded with the Premier League Player of the Month award for February, making him the first United player since Anthony Martial to win the prize for the month of his debut.

The 25-year-old was also the first Portuguese player to win the award since Chelsea midfielder Deco in August 2008.

Fernandes will be under pressure to pick up where he left off with the Premier League provsionally scheduled to return on June 17, three months after the coronavirus pandemic forced its suspension.

As Opta data shows, he certainly looks like the man who could fire United back into next season's Champions League...

- Since his debut on February 1, Fernandes has been involved in five Premier League goals, scoring twice and assisting a further three. No other player can match that tally over the same period. The closest are Mohamed Salah (four goals), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (three goals, one assist), Diogo Jota (three goals, one assist), Robert Snodgrass (two goals, two assists), Sadio Mane (three goals, one assist) and Nicolas Pepe (one goal, three assists).

3 - Indeed, no player has managed more Premier League assists since February 1 than Fernandes. Pepe, Roberto Firmino and Ross Barkley are the other players on three.

19 - Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fernandes is top of the charts for attempted shots since his debut. He has recorded 19, as many as Raul Jimenez and Jay Rodriguez and more than Calvert-Lewin and Salah (both 17).

11 - Fernandes has created 11 chances for team-mates (including assists), the same number as Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Ondrej Duda and Andrew Robertson. Only three players have recorded more since his debut: Joao Moutinho (12), Dwight McNeil (13) and James Maddison (16).

20 - Fernandes is the 20th different United player to win a Premier League Player of the Month award. That tally is the joint-best in the competition, alongside Arsenal.

The Premier League season is set to resume on June 17 with Manchester City hosting Arsenal and Aston Villa taking on Sheffield United.

Those Wednesday fixtures, the first of the 92 remaining in a season that has been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, represent games in hand for the four teams involved.

Once completed, each of the 20 Premier League clubs will have played 29 games.

A full round of matches is then planned take place from June 19, as Liverpool - with a 25-point lead at the top - aim to secure their first top-flight title in 30 years.

All weekend games are set to kick-off at different times, with midweek matches taking place across Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: "Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday, June 17.

"But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority.

"Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches. 

"The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home.

"We will continue to work step-by-step and in consultation with all our stakeholders as we move towards resuming the 2019-20 season."

It has been reported the Premier League hopes to complete the campaign by or on August 2, with the FA Cup final potentially taking place the weekend after.

No matches have been played in the English top flight since March 9 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which caused the suspension of most sport across the globe.

A total of 12 people have tested positive for coronavirus after 2,752 tests across the league.

However, with teams having returned to contact training this week, the Premier League – following a shareholders meeting on Thursday – confirmed a restart date for the competition.

Football in Germany has already got back under way, with three rounds of Bundesliga fixtures having been played behind closed doors.

LaLiga has been granted permission to restart in the week commencing June 8, while Serie A clubs are awaiting the green light from the Italian government to resume next month.

Page 6 of 189
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.