Inter have suspended all competitive activities after it was confirmed Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for coronavirus.

Juve confirmed on Wednesday that Rugani had contracted for the COVID-19 virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

Rugani was an unused substitute on Sunday, as Juve saw off Inter 2-0 in a top-of-the-table clash played behind closed doors.

Following Juve's announcement over Rugani, Inter confirmed they will suspend all competitive activities until further notice.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now declared the spread of the illness as a global pandemic, with people urged to self-isolate for 14 days if they have come into contract with someone suffering from the virus.

Italy has responded strongly to the outbreak, with the country placed on lockdown and the government having now suspended all domestic sport until April 3.

Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani has tested positive for coronavirus, the club have confirmed.

The reigning Serie A champions revealed on Wednesday Italy defender Rugani has contracted COVID-19 but is not displaying any symptoms.

A club statement read: "Juventus Football Club is currently activating all the isolation procedures required by law, including the census of those who have had contact with him."

Rugani tested positive for the virus six days before Juve are scheduled to play Lyon in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

People who come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 are advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

No country outside China has been more heavily affected by the virus, which originated in Wuhan in December and was on Wednesday confirmed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Italy has responded strongly to the outbreak, with the country placed on lockdown by its government and suspending all domestic sport until April 3.

According to the WHO, Italy has 10,149 confirmed cases of coronavirus and has seen 631 deaths as a result.

Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani has tested positive for coronavirus, the club have confirmed.

Cristiano Ronaldo did not train with Juventus on Wednesday and remains in Madeira pending developments regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

Portugal international Ronaldo returned to his homeland earlier this week to spend time with his mother, who suffered a stroke earlier this month.

Due to travel restrictions in and out of Italy to prevent the spread of coronavirus – now categorised as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) – Serie A champions Juve are unsure when their star forward will return to Turin.

A statement on the Italian club's official website read: "Cristiano Ronaldo did not train [on Wednesday] and remains in Madeira pending developments related to the current health emergency."

A number of Serie A clubs have suspended training this week, but Juventus' players were again put through their paces midweek, ahead of next Tuesday's Champions League last-16 return leg against Lyon – who lead 1-0.

Gonzalo Higuain trained alone at Juventus Training Centre due to a minor injury and Rodrigo Bentancur withdrew from the session with a thigh complaint.

Maurizio Sarri's Juve beat rivals Inter 2-0 in a behind-closed-doors match last weekend to climb back into top spot in Serie A, one point above Lazio before the suspension of football in the country.

Josip Ilicic smashed a couple of records as Atalanta surged into their first Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

Ilicic became the first player to score four goals in a Champions League knockout away game as high-flying Atalanta defeated Valencia 4-3.

The 32-year-old attacker also became the oldest player to score a hat-trick away from home in the Champions League – his stunning haul of five goals across two legs helping Atalanta complete an 8-4 aggregate triumph.

Ilicic – the jewel in Atalanta's crown – continues to take Italy and Europe by storm this season, but how does he stack up against Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi domestically and abroad?

We take a look at his 2019-20 Serie A and Champions League numbers using Opta stats.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE/LEAGUE

Games played
Ilicic: 7/21
Ronaldo: 7/22
Messi: 6/22

Goals
Ilicic: 5/15
Ronaldo: 2/21
Messi: 2/19

Penalties
Ilicic: 2/0
Ronaldo: 0/7
Messi: 0/3

Mins/Goal
Ilicic: 103.2/99.47
Ronaldo: 311/92.62
Messi: 240.5/99.47

Shot Conversion Rate (ex. Blocks)
Ilicic: 45.45/26.79
Ronaldo: 9.09/22.58
Messi: 10.53/23.75

Hat-tricks
Ilicic: 1/1
Ronaldo: 0/1
Messi: 0/3

Four or More Goals (inc. Hat-tricks)
Ilicic: 1/0
Ronaldo: 0/0
Messi: 0/1

Big Chance Conversion percentage
Ilicic: 80/70.59
Ronaldo: 66.67/68.18
Messi: 40/42.86

Assists
Ilicic: 0/5
Ronaldo: 0/3
Messi: 3/12

Dribbles Completed
Ilicic: 21/55
Ronaldo: 14/40
Messi: 47/118

Big Chance Created
Ilicic: 3/13
Ronaldo: 0/6
Messi: 7/22

Paul Pogba is reportedly ready to stunningly re-sign with Manchester United.

The midfielder has been linked with a move away from the Premier League club throughout the season, one during which he has made just eight appearances in all competitions.

However, a fresh report suggests Pogba may yet stay at United.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA OPEN TO EXTENDING MAN UTD STAY

Pogba is ready to recommit to Manchester United, according to the Daily Mail.

The France international, who is contracted until 2021 but linked to Real Madrid and Juventus, sees his long-term future at the club and could even extend his deal, the report says.

Bruno Fernandes has helped lead a turnaround in form for United, who are unbeaten in 10 games.

ROUND-UP

- With Zinedine Zidane's future at Real Madrid increasingly uncertain, Marca reports former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino would be the main candidate to replace the Frenchman.

- Amid the troubles at AC Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return at San Siro may not last that long. CalcioMercato reports the striker's future with the club is in danger with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

- Marc-Andre ter Stegen has a deal at Barcelona until 2022, but it remains to be seen how long he stays at Camp Nou. Goal reports the LaLiga club are unable to meet the demands of the star goalkeeper.

- Linked repeatedly with a move for Moussa Dembele throughout last close season, United are lining up a fresh £60million (€68.4m) move for the Lyon forward, according to The Sun. Dembele has scored 22 goals in 42 games this season.

- With Hirving Lozano seemingly unwanted at Napoli, several European clubs are said to be interested in the attacker. CalcioMercato reports Atletico Madrid, Everton and West Ham are keen to sign Lozano.

As the coronavirus crisis deepens, European football is continuing to deal with its consequences.

We take a look at how COVID-19 has affected the top five leagues, as well as associated players and teams.

 

Italy

Serie A, Serie B, Coppa Italia – POSTPONED

Following a government decree issued on Monday, all public gathering are prohibited until April 3, with the whole country put on lockdown.

This directly impacts domestic football, which has been postponed. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) is exploring alternatives if the Serie A season – which is constrained by international deadlines relating to Euro 2020 – cannot run its course.

The three suggestions the FIGC has put forward are: to end the season early and crown the leader at that point as champions; halt the 2019-20 campaign without any team winning the title; or have play-offs for the Scudetto and relegation spots.

Germany

Bundesliga, 2.Bundesliga – ACTIVE

The situation in Germany is being dealt with on a case-by-case basis in local regions and is yet to cause widespread disruption to the two highest divisions, however COVID-19 is spreading rapidly.

Bavaria's government has prohibited events with more than 1,000 people until April 19, in a move that will impact Bayern Munich and Augsburg from the Bundesliga.

Die Roten's Champions League meeting with Chelsea next Wednesday will take place in an empty Allianz Arena, though their away match against Union Berlin this weekend is set to go ahead as normal.

Next Wednesday's Rhine derby between Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne has already been confirmed as the first Bundesliga game to be played with no fans.

Germany's Euro 2020 warm-up friendly against Italy on March 31 will also be behind closed doors.

France

Ligue 1, Ligue 2 – BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

After a previous government decision had announced matches could only be played in front of a maximum of 1,000 fans, authorities have since demanded all games go ahead with no spectators until April 15.

Paris Saint-Germain have already had their meeting with Strasbourg – initially set for last weekend – postponed due to coronavirus, while their upcoming Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund will be played without fans.

LaLiga

LaLiga, La Segunda – BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

It was confirmed on Tuesday that all sporting events in Spain will be played behind closed doors over the next two weeks.

However, following the request of Segunda side Real Zaragoza to postpone all matches instead, the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) added weight to such a call, insisting Spain should be following the lead of countries like Italy and Switzerland.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is set to make a decision on Friday regarding the friendly with Germany at the Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid on March 26.

England

Premier League, the Football League – ACTIVE

As of March 10, English football is yet to be directly impacted by COVID-19.

However, Championship side Nottingham Forest confirmed on Tuesday their owner Evangelos Marinakis had tested positive for the virus.

It is unclear how that will impact on Forest and the division as a whole.

Serie A's title race could be decided by a play-off as the ongoing coronavirus crisis threatens an early conclusion to the 2019-20 football season, the Italian Football Federation has confirmed.

Following a government decree issued on Monday, Italy is on lockdown and all public gatherings are banned until April 3.

This development also means all sporting events in that timeframe have been postponed, throwing Serie A – which had previously been due to continue behind closed doors – into doubt.

Should Serie A resume on April 4, teams will have between 12 and 14 matches to cram in before the end of May, while some sides also have European ties to contend with.

FIGC has a limited amount of time to work with too, given Euro 2020 is set to begin in Rome on June 12, meaning facilities will need to be handed over to UEFA well in advance.

Italy's governing body is considering its options, accepting Serie A could either: finish early; be decided by play-offs; or simply halted and the title would go to no one.

A statement on the FIGC website read: "With reference to the recovery of Serie A matches, taking into account that the other leagues [Serie B, Serie C et cetera] have no international deadlines and therefore a wider margin of programming, the federal president proposed to the Serie A league to take advantage of all the dates available until May 31.

"If the COVID-19 emergency does not allow the conclusion of the championships, president Gabriele Gravina has submitted to the attention of the leagues concerned some hypotheses on which to discuss in the meeting of the Federal Council on 23 March.

"Without any order of priority, a hypothesis could be the non-assignment of the title of Campione of Italy and consequent communication to UEFA of the teams that qualified for the European competitions [Champions League and Europa League]; another would be to refer to the rankings accrued up to the moment of interruption; third and last hypothesis, to play only the play-offs for the title of Campione d'Italia and the play-offs for relegation to Serie B."

As it stands, Juventus are top of Serie A with 63 points – one clear of Lazio. Brescia, SPAL and Lecce occupy the three relegation spots, with the latter tied on 25 points with 17th-placed Genoa.

As of Tuesday, Italy is the most-affected European nation, with 9,172 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Daniel Levy is known as a difficult negotiator.

The Tottenham chairman squeezed every penny out of United when the Red Devils turned to Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.

United also reportedly pulled out of the running for Luka Modric, who joined Real Madrid in 2012, as they did not want to haggle with Levy.

However, United could be ready to lock horns with Levy over Harry Kane's signature.

 

TOP STORY – WOODWARD READY TO BATTLE LEVY FOR KANE

Manchester United and Ed Woodward are ready to battle for the signing of Tottenham star Harry Kane, according to the Evening Standard.

Kane is reportedly considering his future at Tottenham and the England international striker is believed to be open to a switch to United at the end of the season.

United are yet to permanently replace Romelu Lukaku and Red Devils executive vice-chairman Woodward reportedly wants to lock horns with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could United beat Borussia Dortmund to Jude Bellingham? Birmingham City's 16-year-old sensation Bellingham visited United's training ground on Monday and reportedly spoke to former manager Alex Ferguson as the Red Devils ramp up their interest. Bellingham is valued at around £30million.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami want to sign Manchester City star David Silva, reports The Mirror. Silva, out of contract at the end of the season, has been linked to fellow MLS franchise New York City – who are the sister club of Manchester City and part of the City Football Group.

- Tuttosport claims Juventus are targeting Valencia attacker Ferran Torres. The 20-year-old has also been linked to LaLiga champions Barcelona, Real Madrid and Premier League leaders Liverpool.

United are prepared to pay £70m for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, says The Mirror. Grealish has emerged as one of United's prime transfer targets and the Red Devils are ready to test Villa's resolve as the Premier League strugglers face relegation.

Paris Saint-Germain continue to target Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. PSG have identified Koulibaly as Thiago Silva's replacement but Calciomercato says it will be difficult for the Ligue 1 holders to lower Napoli's demands. Koulibaly – also linked to the likes of United, Madrid, Tottenham and Manchester City – reportedly has a €150m termination clause.

- Kicker says Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are considering signing on-loan Inter winger Ivan Perisic at season's end.

Milan have donated €250,000 to help with the coronavirus emergency support effort in Italy, where the entire country has been put on lockdown.

The coronavirus outbreak has crippled the nation, with Serie A and all sporting events suspended until April 3 following the Italian National Olympic Committee's (CONI) decision on Monday.

It comes after a significant increase in cases, with a total of 9,172 people infected as of Monday in Italy.

Milan – following in the footsteps of neighbours Inter's €100,000 donation – and Fondazione Milan have jointly donated to the response efforts of AREU (Azienda Regionale Emergenza Urgenza), the emergency arm of the Lombardy region's government.

"There are things in life more important than football," Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis said in a statement. "At a time when all of us need to take care of the most vulnerable amongst us, we must all act with the utmost responsibility and listen to the advice of the relevant authorities.

"On behalf of the club, I am proud to support the incredible efforts of our region's emergency response teams with this donation. The health and safety of our loved ones is our highest priority. We understand that our fans are going through an extremely difficult time.

"We are all worried about those nearest and dearest to us and about the implications for the future. Milan is more than a football club. It is a community of people who care for each other and we also represent the great city of Milano around the world.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Milanisti. We have already announced that we will reimburse all those who have shown their love for the club by issuing refunds to any games cancelled or postponed and we will be taking further steps to support our fans through these difficult times as they have always supported us."

Globally, there have been 114,458 coronavirus cases with 4,027 deaths.

More than 3,100 people have died in China, while over 400 people have succumbed to the virus in Italy.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has approved the Italian National Olympic Committee's (CONI) decision to suspend all sporting events in Italy until April 3 after putting the entire country on lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak.

All sport had already been required to take place behind closed doors until April following a previous government decree, but CONI announced new measures on Monday following a significant increase in cases.

Conte confirmed CONI's decision will be implemented, with the prime minister announcing the suspension of Serie A and all sporting events as he extended the restriction of movement to the nation's entire population, having previously only been in place for specific so-called "red zones".

All public gatherings have banned other than for work or emergency purposes, with a total of 9,172 people infected as of Monday.

"There is no more time, the numbers tell us there is a significant increase in the contagion, in intensive care and deaths," Conte said in a news conference.

"Our habits have to change, we must sacrifice something for the good of all of Italy. This is why we will adopt even more stringent measures.

"I will sign the new decree, which can be summed up with the phrase 'I am staying at home'. There are no more red zones, there is just an Italy that is protected.

"We must avoid travel unless for proven work reasons, health reasons or other necessities. We ban large public gatherings.

"We also have more stringent measures in mind for sporting events. Serie A and all sporting tournaments in general are suspended. All the fans must accept that."

It is unclear what this will mean for Champions League and Europa League matches involving Italian teams.

UEFA is yet to postpone any matches, but it did confirm on Monday Roma's upcoming Europa League contest with Sevilla at Stadio Olimpico on March 19 will be played behind closed doors.

Another UEFA competition, Euro 2020, is due to begin in Rome on June 12.

All sporting activity in Italy has been suspended until April 3 by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) due to the coronavirus spread, with football set to be the most-impacted sport.

The CONI announcement on Monday confirmed a suspension, subject to government ratification, that many had expected.

Serie A and the Coppa Italia had already been heavily affected by postponements and matches being played behind closed doors, with Sunday's Derby d'Italia played in front of an eerily empty stadium.

A government decree had already confirmed there were to be no spectators at any sporting events until April 3, but the latest announcement followed a significant increase in coronavirus cases, with 7,375 Italians having been infected.

Many wider sporting events in Italy had already been postponed, but the suspension is arguably set to have the biggest knock-on effect in football, as it throws the Serie A title race – and relegation tussle – into chaos due to an ever-growing fixture pile-up.

Following Monday's news, here are the biggest clubs' Serie A and Coppa Italia matches set to be affected:

Juventus:

Bologna v Juventus, March 13

Juventus v Lecce, March 21

Juventus v Milan (Coppa Italia semi-final second leg), TBC

Lazio:

Atalanta v Lazio, March 15

Lazio v Fiorentina, March 20

Inter:

Inter v Sassuolo, March 15

Parma v Inter, March 22

Napoli v Inter (Coppa Italia semi-final second leg), TBC

Milan:

Lecce v Milan, March 15

Milan v Roma, March 22

Juventus v Milan (Coppa Italia semi-final second leg), TBC

With no matches set to take place until April 3, a deadline that could feasibly be pushed back even further, teams will resume the Serie A season with between 12 and 14 matches still to play.

With Euro 2020 set to begin on June 12, it leaves just 70 days between the two key dates, though facilities will have to be handed over to UEFA well before the tournament's kick-off.

If Champions League and Europa League matches continue to go ahead as planned, some Italian teams could have many as 20 matches across all competitions to cram into their schedules.

Juventus lead the way in Serie A on 63 points, and look set to be pushed the distance by Lazio. The Rome-based club are just a point shy, while Inter have fallen adrift of the top by nine.

Among the wider sporting events previously postponed through March and early April were: 

CYCLING

Tirreno-Adriatico, March 11-17

Milan-San Remo, March 21

Giro di Sicilia, April 1-4

SKIING

Alpine Skiing World Cup finals, March 18-22

RUGBY UNION

Italy v England, March 14

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Tahith Chong can have a "bright future" at Manchester United after the winger signed a new two-year contract.

Chong's previous deal was set to expire at the end of the season, with Barcelona and Juventus reportedly interested in securing his signature.

But after his agent announced an impending agreement with United, the club confirmed Chong had committed until 2022 with the option of a further year.

Solskjaer, who gave the player his debut last January, was delighted to secure the 20-year-old's talents.

"Tahith works extremely hard every day and he is constantly improving," the manager told United's official website.

"His performances this season, whether for the first team or Under-23s, are testament to his hard work, dedication and to his character.

"We are pleased with the progress he has made since he stepped up from the academy and are looking forward to continuing to develop his talent.

"Tahith has great potential. Given his age, ability and work ethic, we can see that he has a bright future at Manchester United."

Chong - a 2016 arrival from Feyenoord's academy - is likewise looking forward to continuing his work with Solskjaer, for whom he has featured 10 times this season.

"When I joined Manchester United as a youngster, it was a dream come true," he said. "It is an honour every time I pull on the shirt and represent this club.

"I am working hard every day to improve and I know this is the perfect environment to develop my game.

"The opportunity to learn from the manager, his coaching staff and the world-class players here is fantastic.

"I am delighted to sign this new contract and really grateful for the chance to prove myself here for many years to come."

Coronavirus continues to have a huge impact on the sporting calendar. 

Further measures to prevent the spread of the virus were taken on Monday, affecting a plethora of sports and leagues.

More events were subject to postponements, while the sight of games taking place in empty arenas will be a common one in the coming weeks.

Here we look at the sporting decisions announced on Monday as the world attempts to tackle the outbreak.

 

Italy - All sporting activity in Italy was suspended until April 3 by the country's Olympic Committee, in a decision pending government ratification. In a statement, the committee conceded it does not have jurisdiction over international competitions such as the Champions League and Europa League.

France - Ligue 1 games are now required to be played behind closed doors or with a limit of 1,000 fans until April 15. Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday will be contested behind closed doors at the Parc des Princes.

France - The Six Nations finale between France and Ireland, due to take place at the Stade de France on Saturday, is postponed. England's game with Italy was already off, meaning it is unclear when the winner of the competition will be determined. Scotland's game with Wales in Cardiff is on, and Gregor Townsend's men can move into first place with a win. England and France are level on 13 points, with Ireland on nine having seen two games postponed.

United States - The ATP's Indian Wells Masters and WTA's Indian Wells Open were both cancelled following a confirmed case of the virus in Riverside County, California.

United States - According to ESPN, the NBA is to hold a conference call with the 30 team owners and governors to discuss the next steps for how it handles the spread of the virus in the USA, where there have been 213 confirmed cases.

Asia - FIFA confirmed the AFC qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, which were scheduled to take place in the international windows of March 23-31 and June 1-9, have been postponed.

Switzerland - Basel announced on Monday that the second leg of their Europa League tie with Eintracht Frankfurt, set to be contested on March 19, cannot be played at their St Jakob Park home due to coronavirus-related restrictions. Switzerland's top-flight, the Super League, is suspended until March 23.

Japan - The postponement of the start of the Nippon Professional Baseball regular season was confirmed at a media conference on Monday.

United States - IndyCar is not expecting any impact on its 2020 schedule as a result of the outbreak.

France - Rugby League side Catalans Dragons are waiting for an official decision from the Perpignan prefecture or government regarding Saturday's Super League game with Leeds Rhinos after the country's ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

All sporting activities in Italy have been suspended until April 3, the Italian National Olympic Committee has announced.

The decision, which is subject to government ratification, comes following a meeting organised by CONI president Giovanni Malago in Rome.

All sport in the country had already been required to take place behind closed doors until April 3 as part of a previous government decree as Italy attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

That led to the strange sight of Sunday's Derby d'Italia between Juventus and Inter being contested without spectators in the stadium.

Monday's decision will further disrupt the season in Serie A and the rest of Italy's domestic football pyramid, though CONI conceded in the announcement that it has no jurisdiction over international competitions such as the Champions League and Europa League.

When contacted by Stats Perform, European football's governing body UEFA said it did not have a comment to make regarding CONI's decision.

Italy's national rugby team has already seen its Six Nations fixtures with Ireland and England postponed due to the spread of the virus.

The most affected nation outside of Asia, Italy has 7,375 confirmed cases of coronavirus, which has led to 366 deaths in the country.

Earlier on Monday, France's minister for sport announced that all Ligue 1 games will be played behind closed doors or see fan numbers restricted to 1,000.

Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League last-16 second-leg tie with Borussia Dortmund will take place behind closed doors, while France's Six Nations match with Ireland at the Stade de France has been postponed.

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