For so long, Donny van de Beek has been tipped to join Real Madrid.

Madrid previously contacted Eredivisie champions Ajax over a possible deal for the midfielder at the start of the season.

The LaLiga giants reportedly have an agreement in place for Van de Beek, however, Manchester United are still fighting for the Dutchman.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED OUT TO HIJACK MADRID'S DONNY PURSUIT

Manchester United are looking to beat Real Madrid to the signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, according to Marca.

Madrid reportedly have a pre-agreement with Van de Beek, who was close to swapping Amsterdam for the Spanish capital at the start of 2019-20.

Now, United are trying to pip Madrid to Van de Beek amid doubts over star midfielder Paul Pogba, who has been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims Juventus remain the preferred option for Pogba, despite United insisting the Frenchman will be at Old Trafford in 2020-21.

- Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland team-mates at Madrid? The LaLiga giants are interested in the pair, however, Marca has described it as an "impossible dream". That is because Mbappe and Haaland reportedly do not get along following the Champions League last-16 tie, which saw PSG mock the Dortmund forward.

- Calciomercato says Napoli and Inter are set to go head-to-head for Sassuolo midfielder Jeremie Boga.

- PSG full-back Thomas Meunier will join Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer at the end of the season, reports RMC. Meunier's contract is due to expire in June.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future at Milan is uncertain. Gazzetta dello Sport says Ibrahimovic will only extend his contract if the Rossoneri build a strong winning team in Serie A.

The coronavirus pandemic is still raising questions across sport, even with the global calendar decimated by cancelled and postponed events.

Coronavirus has, according to official figures, caused around 6,500 deaths from approximately 170,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

As the pandemic continues, there are going to be some big decisions made in the world of sport over the coming week, with UEFA's 55 members set to come together – via video conference – on Tuesday.

The fate of this season's Champions League and Europa League will be up for debate, while Euro 2020 is also to be discussed.

Here is a look at the latest developments:

 

Ahead of Tuesday's meeting with UEFA, Italian football federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina confirmed he will call for Euro 2020 to be postponed, in the hope that might allow the Serie A season to be finished in June.

This proposal will likely be backed by LaLiga boss Javier Tebas, who is convinced the top-flight season in Spain will be completed. Swiss FA president Dominique Blanc, meanwhile, has confirmed he has coronavirus.

It is not yet clear what will happen in the Premier League, with the teams set to reconvene for another meeting on Thursday and, after coming under criticism for stating that the season should be considered "null and void", West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady defended her comments.

"The Premier League and EFL are doing all we can to ensure the season is finished. Including suspending games, isolating players, and if required playing games behind closed doors and into the summer months," she wrote on Twitter.

"My point was safety of fans, players, staff come first and if the remaining games just cannot be played the only fair and reasonable thing is to declare [the] season null and void."

In a newspaper column, Wayne Rooney backed the decision to postpone fixtures in England, but criticised the Premier League and EFL for taking so long to make the call.

More players have confirmed they have tested positive for COVID-19.

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay became the first LaLiga player to be named as having the illness, with the club adding four more members of the first-team playing and coaching staff had also tested positive.

Valencia's former Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala confirmed later on Sunday that he was one of those with the virus.

In Serie A, Sampdoria's Omar Colley posted a video to his official Instagram account in which he refuted his club's claim that he too had received a positive test result.

Meanwhile, Manchester United's Paul Pogba joined the raft of sports stars pledging to support people during the crisis, as he launched a fundraiser to mark his 27th birthday.

In France, Paris Saint-Germain announced they had extended the suspension of all club operations until March 18.

In the United States, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert – the first NBA player to be diagnosed with coronavirus – provided a positive update on his recovery, while also stating: "I wish I would have took this thing more seriously and I hope everyone else will do so because we can do it together."

Not all sport has been postponed just yet, with rugby league in both Britain and Australia continuing for now.

In Super League, Castleford Tigers ran out winners over defending champions St Helens, though in the National Rugby League (NRL), Melbourne Storm's Cameron Smith called for the competition to be suspended.

Round two is set to go ahead next week, albeit behind closed doors, while New Zealand Warriors have elected to remain in Australia rather than return to Auckland, where they would have to self-isolate for 14 days.

The world's leading sporting competitions have been halted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With almost 160,000 confirmed cases of the virus and close to 6,000 deaths, athletes across the globe are waiting to learn when they will return to work.

We take a look at the provisional return dates set out so far.
 

BASKETBALL

The NBA came to a sudden stop when a Utah Jazz player - later revealed to be Rudy Gobert - tested positive on Wednesday, and league commissioner Adam Silver warned the hiatus would "be most likely at least 30 days".

CRICKET

International cricket has been pushed back, but there are no firm dates as things stand for rescheduled matches. England's two-match Test tour of Sri Lanka was called off midway through a warm-up match, while the ODI series between India and South Africa was postponed after the first of three matches was washed out. Australia won an opening ODI against New Zealand behind closed doors, but the remaining two 50-over matches were delayed, along with a three-match Twenty20 series. There is at least a provisional date for the Indian Premier League to belatedly start: April 15, pushed back from March 29.

FOOTBALL

European football is at a standstill, with the Champions League among the elite-level competitions suspended. UEFA is set to meet to discuss the future of that tournament and Euro 2020 this week, while FIFA has advised postponements of upcoming international fixtures, for which clubs are no longer required to release their players. The Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A are all paused at least until April 3 although the Bundesliga has only called off one matchweek as things stand, while Ligue 1 is off "until further notice".

GOLF

The PGA Tour initially announced a three-week suspension, with The Players Championship stopped after its opening round. The Masters - won in 2019 by Tiger Woods - was therefore set to mark the Tour's return on April 9, but organisers soon announced the first major of the year would also be postponed. The RBC Heritage on April 16 is the next scheduled tournament. Organisers are planning "regular status updates in the coming weeks" amid "a very fluid situation that requires constant review, communication, and transparency".

MOTORSPORT

The Formula One season is still to start after races in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China were postponed or cancelled. The Dutch Grand Prix on May 3 remains on at this stage, however, while managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn has suggested the calendar could be reshuffled, with races held in August. NASCAR has postponed events in Atlanta and Miami this and next weekend, and all IndyCar Series races through April have been cancelled.

RUGBY

Rugby league has largely been able to continue both in England and in Australia, but the same is not true of rugby union. Six Nations matches were among the first to fall by the wayside amid the crisis in Italy, with the Azzurri seeing matches against both Ireland and England postponed until later in the year. France versus Ireland was off, too, while Scotland's trip to Wales belatedly followed suit. Club action has ground to a halt, with Super Rugby finally paused this weekend and no return imminent.

TENNIS

After Indian Wells and then the Miami Open were cancelled, the ATP Tour announced its suspension up to and including the week of April 20. The WTA Tour preferred to call off individual events, but the schedule is now clear for five weeks. It was still to make a decision on the European clay-court season. The Fed Cup finals and play-offs - set for mid-April - have been pushed back, meanwhile, with the ITF vowing to address any impact the postponement may have on players' eligibility for Tokyo 2020.

OTHERS

Despite chaos surrounding various sports across the globe, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe says the country is still planning for the Olympic Games in Tokyo to go ahead as scheduled in July. The London Marathon and the Boston Marathon will both still go ahead this year, but with revised dates of October 4 and September 14, respectively. The Giro d'Italia will be postponed and a new date for the race will not be announced until at least April 3 when a decree in Italy banning sport ends. The NBA is not the only American competition to be disrupted, meanwhile, with the 2020 MLB season moved back "at least two weeks" from March 26, and the NHL campaign paused indefinitely.

Could Liverpool part with Sadio Mane?

The star forward is a key member of Jurgen Klopp's side, who won the Champions League last season.

However, Real Madrid are reportedly ready to test Liverpool's resolve.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SET SIGHTS ON MANE

LaLiga giants Real Madrid are targeting Liverpool star Sadio Mane, reports The Mirror.

Mane has established himself as an integral part of Liverpool's squad after arriving from Southampton in 2016.

However, Madrid believe they could tempt Liverpool with a £140million (€154m) offer.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport's frontpage has the headline "Hands off Ronaldo". Sunday's newspaper features a story which says Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo want to continue together as the Serie A champions look to sign a "real number nine" amid links to Mauro Icardi. The Argentina international is on loan at Paris Saint-Germain from Inter.

PSG expect Neymar to leave at the end of the season, with ESPN claiming the Ligue 1 giants value the Barcelona target at €150m. Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

- According to the Express, Chelsea are preparing a £85m (€93m) bid for Bayer Leverkusen's Leon BaileyLiverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United have also been linked to the 22-year-old.

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims PSG are keen on Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who is contracted to the Italian giants until 2023. While Pjanic could leave Turin, Emerson Palmieri could arrive as Juve eye the Chelsea full-back.

United have offered goalkeeper Dean Henderson a new contract worth £100,000 per week, reports The Sun. Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United.

- The Mirror says United, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Chelsea have all met Birmingham City's asking price for teenage sensation Jude Bellingham.

Liverpool are ready to offload Xherdan Shaqiri, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana at the end of the season, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud and Lyon counterpart Jean-Michel Aulas have been involved in a COVID-19 spat after the latter proposed the Ligue 1 season should be cancelled amid coronavirus.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) confirmed on Friday all matches in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 had been suspended until further notice in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, which has claimed more than 5,500 lives globally.

Outspoken Lyon president Aulas called for the Ligue 1 season to end now, with no champion or relegation – meaning Paris Saint-Germain, who are 12 points clear atop the table through 28 rounds, would miss out on the title.

Aulas' position has angered Marseille's Eyraud, whose side are second in the standings, while Lyon are seventh and 10 points adrift of the Champions League places.

"When his fever has come down, Jean-Michel Aulas will see the obscenity of his opportunism and will quickly return to the values that make him a great footballing operator," Eyraud told Le Journal du Dimanche.

"We are well-versed in Jean-Michel Aulas' obsessive desire to defend Lyon with everything he has. But this is taking the mickey. Do you really love football when, without consulting anyone, you suggest annulling 28 sets of games that have already been played. 25,200 minutes worth of effort, joy and difficult moments. 25,200 minutes of sharing moments between Ligue 1 players.

"Should we dissolve them owing to the selfishness of one individual who wants his team in the Champions League? So, because his Lyon players are you to qualify for the biggest prize, there remains a joker card: the coronavirus. It is simply enough to vanish this championship into a cupboard of bad memories and for Jean-Michel Aulas to administer an anti-defeat vaccine. Come on, let's pretend that this season never existed. Let's was our hands with lotion that destroys sports results and erases reality from the field.

"The very idea of using this widespread challenge for personal gain is indecent. Let us live up to the values of sport, let us be an example as a football family that seeks to defend the general interest."

Aulas hit back via Twitter on Saturday, writing: "Good for you and your disciples that ridiculousness is less deadly than the coronavirus. In terms of everything else, I hope with all my heart that the league will get going again quickly and that we will be able to finish it like our Champions' League match and the cup final.

"For you JH, the most difficult times are just beginning. Football has never been JH's strong suit: after suggesting to increase the number of points a team could get from a match if they scored goals from outside of the box, the €200million loss that he has run up in three years, despite FFP [Financial Fair Play] only allowing him to have a €30m loss, now he has exposed himself to a potential defamation suit because he has twisted my words!"

European football has come to a standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As football associations and governments aim to slow the spread of the virus, top-flight competitions have been postponed for the time being.

We take a look at the state of play in Europe's top five leagues.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE

Suspended since: March 13
Suspended until: April 3
Matches played: 28-29 of 38

The Premier League has been paused at least until after the international break, although the intended return date appears purely provisional as the league prepares for further discussions on the matter. Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi have both tested positive.

Liverpool are 25 points clear of defending champions Manchester City and need just two more wins when play resumes to clinch their first league title since 1990.

Meanwhile, the race for European qualification is complicated somewhat by City's appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport following their ban from UEFA competitions. Fifth place, occupied by Manchester United, could be enough to play Champions League football next season.

At the bottom, Norwich City are propping up the league and sit six points shy of safety. But the five teams above them are separated by just four points as they look to avoid relegation.

 

LALIGA

Suspended since: March 12
Suspended until: April 3
Matches played: 27 of 38

LaLiga had been set to be played behind closed doors leading into the international break, but Real Madrid went into quarantine when a player on their basketball team tested positive, and the season was instead postponed for "at least" two matchweeks.

Should the season be belatedly able to continue, a tense title race is on the cards. Barcelona lead bitter rivals Madrid by just two points, having reclaimed top spot ahead of the suspension when Zinedine Zidane's side lost at Real Betis.

There are then just two points between Sevilla in third and Atletico Madrid in sixth, with Real Sociedad and Getafe also in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Espanyol, Leganes and Real Mallorca occupy the relegation places, but the latter two sides won their previous matches. Celta Vigo are a point clear of Mallorca in 17th.

 

SERIE A

Suspended since: March 9
Suspended until: April 3
Matches played: 25-26 of 38

Some Serie A matches had been postponed even before the Italian government confirmed a suspension of all sport in the country until April 3, leaving the league table a little imbalanced.

The country remains on lockdown, while a number of players – including Daniele Rugani, Manolo Gabbiadini and Patrick Cutrone – have tested positive.

Italy's top flight had been engaged in a gripping title tussle, with defending champions Juventus only a point ahead of Lazio. Inter have also been in the mix all season but lost to the Bianconeri behind closed doors last week to fall nine points off the pace, albeit with a game in hand.

Atalanta have lit up the Champions League this season and are hoping to qualify for next term. They sit fourth, three points ahead of Roma, who have played a game more.

Brescia and SPAL both look destined for the drop, meanwhile, but Lecce – in 18th – are level on points with Genoa, whose rivals Sampdoria are a point better off.

 

BUNDESLIGA

Suspended since: March 13
Suspended until: March 19
Matches played: 24-25 of 34

Bundesliga matches have only been postponed for one matchweek as things stand, yet the clubs are set to meet on Monday as the DFL suggests a suspension until April 2. Paderborn's Luca Kilian was the first player in the top flight to test positive on Friday.

The enforced break came as Bayern Munich were building a lead at the top of the table. There was a four-way battle between the defending champions, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach at one stage. But Leipzig are winless in two and have dropped to third, a point behind Dortmund and five behind Bayern.

Those four teams are not yet even assured of Champions League football, however, with Bayer Leverkusen in fifth on 47 points – three shy of Leipzig.

Paderborn are bottom and six points away from a relegation play-off, with Werder Bremen two points above them. Fortuna Dusseldorf must make up four points to Mainz if they are to avoid the play-off.

 

LIGUE 1

Suspended since: March 13
Suspended until: TBC
Matches played: 27-28 of 38

Rather than set a provisional return date, the Ligue 1 season is on hold "until further notice".

While the league's plan going forward is a little vague, the standings are clearer than in other countries. Paris Saint-Germain are 12 points ahead of second-placed Marseille with a game in hand.

The top two should clinch automatic Champions League qualification if the campaign can continue, while third-placed Rennes have a point advantage over Lille.

At the bottom, Toulouse's miserable season has returned just 13 points. Amiens have 10 points more but are just one place better off and must gain four points on Nimes to reach the relegation play-off, which Saint-Etienne and Dijon are three clear of.

Aleksandr Golovin has signed a one-year extension to his contract at Monaco, tying him to the club until June 2024.

Monaco, who confirmed the news via their official website on Saturday, struggled badly in Golovin's first season with the team following a move from CSKA Moscow, finishing 17th in Ligue 1.

However, the Russia international has played his part in an improved campaign this time around, with Monaco ninth in the table but only a point behind Reims in fifth.

Only two outfield players have been used more regularly than the 23-year-old by head coach Robert Moreno, underlining his importance to the club.

 

Riyad Mahrez only joined Manchester City in 2018 but the Premier League champions are already reportedly willing to cash in on the Algeria international.

With City's looming UEFA ban – the Manchester giants are appealing a two-season suspension – Mahrez could depart the Etihad Stadium.

And Paris Saint-Germain are a possible destination.

 

TOP STORY – PSG AN OPTION FOR MAHREZ

Manchester City attacker Riyad Mahrez is open to moving to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, according to Calciomercato.

Premier League giants City are reportedly prepared to sell Mahrez and PSG are believed to be the Algeria international's preferred destination.

Mahrez, who arrived at City in 2018, has started 15 of his 23 Premier League appearances this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Is Paul Pogba out of the picture? Juventus have been linked with a move for their former midfielder, however, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed the disgruntled star will be at Old Trafford next season. With that in mind, Calciomercato says Juve are targeting Lyon's Houssem Aouar as an alternative.

- The Daily Star reports Barcelona have decided on their salary for target and Inter forward Lautaro Martinez. Real Madrid, United and Chelsea have also been linked to the Argentina international.

- Fiorentina and Italy star Federico Chiesa is wanted by PSG, Juve, Inter and United, Le10Sport claims.

Angelino to Barca? The City left-back – who is on loan at Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig – has impressed the LaLiga champions, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- Sport Witness says Napoli are ready to sell striker Arkadiusz Milik after failing to agree a new deal. Inter, Arsenal and Tottenham have all been linked.

- While Milik could leave, Torino's Andrea Belotti could arrive in Naples. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Napoli, who signed Andrea Petagna in January before loaning him back to SPAL, could include the striker in a deal for Belotti.

Kai Havertz to Juve is not a possibility, says Calciomercato. The Bayer Leverkusen sensation is a player in demand but Juve have ruled out a move due to the €80million price tag. Havertz has been linked to the likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool, United and others.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has called for the Ligue 1 season to end now, with no champion or relegation, after the league was suspended due to coronavirus.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) confirmed on Friday all matches in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 had been suspended until further notice in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19.

It had been agreed earlier in the week that the matches would take place behind closed doors until April 15, but the decision was changed after advice from the French government.

On Tuesday, all 55 UEFA members are set to meet via video conference to discuss how to proceed, with all major European competitions now on hold, including the Champions League and Europa League.

Aulas has now called on the LFP to end the domestic season now, meaning Paris Saint-Germain - 12 points clear at the top of the table - would miss out on the title.

Aulas wants European places to be awarded based on the current standings, although Lyon - in seventh - would miss out.

"The most logical thing would be to say we cancel everything and we start again on the situation at the start of the season, a white season," Aulas said in an interview with newspaper Le Monde.

"In any case, you have to look at what the regulations say. It is the only possible decision in this context.

"After the intervention of the president, I, as president of the Ligue 1 clubs, immediately asked the president of the FFF and the president of the LFP to make this decision.

"This was what was done democratically by bringing the office together."

Lyon had been due to face Juventus in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

According to reports, UEFA are considering postponing Euro 2020 until 2021 in order to provide time for member nations to complete their domestic leagues, though it remains unclear when football will be able to resume across the continent.

The sporting calendar over the next few weeks looks extremely bare as events continue to be postponed or cancelled as a result of the threat of the coronavirus.

All of Europe's top five leagues have now been suspended, as the Bundesliga followed Serie A, LaLiga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League in calling a halt to proceedings just hours before its latest round of fixtures was due to kick off.

Golf's first major, the Masters, will not take place on April 9 as initially scheduled, while the Giro d'Italia, the final Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland, and marathons in London and Boston have all been affected by COVID-19, too.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 140,000, we take a look at the latest round of postponements.

 

After the PGA Tour cancelled all events leading up the Masters, all eyes were on whether the prestigious event at Augusta National Golf Club would be called off until further notice. That news arrived on Friday, with organisers saying it was "appropriate under these unique circumstances".

With around four hours to go before the first Bundesliga game of matchday 26, the league was finally suspended due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Germany.

Defender Timo Hubers, who plays for 2. Bundesliga side Hannover, was one of the first players across Europe to test positive for the virus, and Paderborn, who had been due to Fortuna Dusseldorf on Friday night, were waiting on tests results for their players when news came down from the league.

Clubs will meet again on Monday, with the league advising a suspension until April 2.

World Cup qualifiers in Africa were suspended, while European clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have stopped their players from training at their facilities for the time being.

As Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba encouraged people to "dab to beat coronavirus" and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp backed the decision to postpone the Premier League, Serie A clubs Sampdoria and Fiorentina reported positive cases involving their players in Italy, one of the worst-affected countries.

The country's major cycling race, the Giro d'Italia, will not begin as scheduled on May 9 as Hungary said it was unwilling to host the first three stages. The whole race was subsequently postponed.

Six Nations contest between Italy and England in Rome, originally slated for Saturday, had already been called off, and the only fixture of the tournament not to be postponed was put back indefinitely on Friday. Wales' clash with Scotland in Cardiff was finally called off the day before it was set to take place, while Sunday's Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale Sharks and Harlequins has also been postponed.

South Africa's ODI tour of India will be rescheduled for another time, the first match having been washed out on Thursday, while the Boston Marathon will now take place on September 14. The new date for the London Marathon is October 4.

Elsewhere, NASCAR has postponed races in Atlanta and Miami over the next two weekends. Those races were initially going to be held without fans. All IndyCar Series races through April have been cancelled.

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed they have suspended all club activities up until Monday after Ligue 1 was postponed.

The spread of coronavirus across the globe has led to the mass cancelation of sporting events, the Ligue de Football Professionnel confirming on Friday that all fixtures in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 are suspended "until further notice".

It had initially been agreed earlier this week that all games would be played behind closed doors until April 15 but, after advice from the French government, games will now be postponed.

In the wake of the announcement, Ligue 1 leaders PSG – who defeated Borussia Dortmund at an empty Parc des Princes on Wednesday and sit 12 points clear in France's top flight – confirmed they have closed down all operations.

"All the departments of the club and its sports sections are concerned, women's and men's football, handball and judo," a statement on PSG's website read.

"All training is cancelled until [and including] Sunday. Athletes are invited to stay at their homes during this period. The medical service of the club and its external experts are to follow the evolution of the situation and recommend from Sunday evening the measures to take for the following days. 

"The club remains attentive to the decisions to be announced by UEFA on March 17 on the holding of its competitions."

No date for a resumption of the French leagues has been announced, though a further update is expected after a meeting of the 55 UEFA member associations on Tuesday.

As it stands, all of Europe's major leagues are currently on hold until the start of April at the earliest, with the Bundesliga having cancelled its fixtures for this weekend, while the Premier League has also postponed games.

David Ibbotson, the pilot in the plane crash that killed footballer Emiliano Sala, did not have the required licence or permissions to fly commercially.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) on Friday published its report into the loss of the Piper Malibu aircraft, which crashed over the English Channel on January 21 last year, two days after Sala's move from Nantes to Cardiff City was confirmed.

It found Ibbotson's previous licence for flying that plane had become invalidated in November 2018.

In addition, the aircraft did not have the correct license or permissions to operate.

The body of Sala, who was 28 at the time, was recovered on February 7, 2019. Ibbotson's body has not been found.

A report released in August said Sala had clearly been exposed to carbon monoxide.

And in publishing their final findings, the AAIB wrote: "At 20:16 hrs (local time), probably while manoeuvring to avoid poor weather, the aircraft was lost from radar and struck the sea 22 nautical miles north-north-west of Guernsey.

"Neither the pilot nor aircraft had the required licences or permissions to operate commercially."

The investigation found that Ibbotson lost control during a manually-flown turn, likely initiated to remain in or regain Visual Meteorological Conditions, and that the aircraft subsequently broke up "while manoeuvring at an airspeed significantly in excess of its design manoeuvring speed".

Additionally, the investigation determined that Ibbotson was probably affected by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Furthermore, the report revealed there was no carbon monoxide detector with an active warning to alert Ibbotson to the presence of carbon monoxide in time for him to take mitigating action.

The report also found that: "A loss of control was made more likely because the flight was not conducted in accordance with safety standards applicable to commercial operations. 

"This manifested itself in the flight being operated under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) at night in poor weather conditions despite the pilot having no training in night flying and a lack of recent practice in instrument flying."

Fixtures in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 have been suspended "until further notice" due to coronavirus, the Ligue de Football Professionnel has announced.

It was agreed earlier this week that all games would be played behind closed doors until April 15 but that has now been upgraded to postponements – and follows French government advice.

An LFP statement read: "Following the announcements from the president of the republic in order to respond to the health crisis linked to COVID-19, the LFP board of directors unanimously decided on Friday, March 13 to immediately suspend Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 until further notice.

"As the president pointed out on Thursday, collective interest must be placed above everything. The urgency today is to curb the epidemic, protect the most vulnerable and avoid displacement."

No date for a resumption was announced, but the LFP suggested it will know more following the meeting of the 55 UEFA member associations on Tuesday.

The statement added: "Following the meeting scheduled by UEFA on March 17, the LFP board of directors will meet."

It has been suggested Euro 2020 will be delayed by 12 months to accommodate a later finish to domestic leagues across the continent.

Paris-Saint Germain played their Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund behind closed doors at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night – winning 2-0 to edge the tie 3-2 and advance to the quarter-finals.

PSG sit top of Ligue 1 with a 12-point lead over Marseille and have a game in hand.

Manchester United's improved form is said to be leading to increased confidence of landing Jadon Sancho.

Sancho, 19, has been linked with a move to the Premier League after starring at Borussia Dortmund since joining the German club from Manchester City.

And, with United in fine form and eyeing a Champions League spot next season, Old Trafford could be shaping as his most likely destination.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD CONFIDENT OF SIGNING SANCHO IF THEY QUALIFY FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Manchester United believe they are in pole position to sign Sancho, according to the Mirror.

The report says Paris Saint-Germain are their biggest competitors for the England international's signature.

United are unbeaten in 11 games in all competitions and sit three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

ROUND-UP

- Thomas Partey starred for Atletico Madrid against Liverpool in the Champions League and the midfielder is attracting interest. The Telegraph reports Arsenal will consider making a move for the Ghana international ahead of next season.

- Juventus are continuing to work on a new contract for Paulo Dybala. CalcioMercato reports one aspect of a possible deal relates to the Serie A champions showing how much they value Dybala by offering him a salary second only to Cristiano Ronaldo at the club.

- Out of contract at the season's end, Willian's future at Chelsea remains uncertain. The Sun reports manager Frank Lampard is keen to offer the Brazil international, who has been linked to Arsenal, a new deal, while club director Marina Granovskaia is reportedly focusing on off-season transfer targets.

- With England's women's side out of form, could Phil Neville be set for an exit as coach? The Daily Mail reports Neville is considering his future with England having won just three of nine games since finishing fourth at last year's Women's World Cup.

- Hakim Ziyech is joining Chelsea from Ajax ahead of 2020-21, and he wants a team-mate to come with him. The Daily Mail says the attacker is hoping to persuade Chelsea to sign Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.

- Juventus are considering a move for 22-year-old Lille and former Brazil youth international defender Gabriel, according to SportMediaset.

UEFA will host a video conference next Tuesday to discuss how European football should respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Champions League and Europa League have already felt the effects of the outbreak and speculation on Thursday suggested an immediate suspension of both competitions was imminent, with similar action having already been taken in domestic competitions across the continent.

However, European football's governing body issued a statement to announce its conference, where the status of Euro 2020 will also be on the agenda.

The statement read: "In the light of the ongoing developments in the spread of COVID-19 across Europe and the changing analysis of the World Health Organisation, UEFA has today [Thursday] invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to attend meetings by video conference on Tuesday, March 17 to discuss European football's response to the outbreak.

"Discussions will include all domestic and European competitions, including UEFA Euro 2020."

Despite delaying its decision over a course of action for senior football, UEFA later announced all matches in its youth tournaments between March 14 and April 14 are postponed.

"This is a general precautionary measure, taken to avoid the possibility of players – many of whom would be minors – being stranded away from their families in the event of host governments declaring lockdowns or quarantines," a separate statement read.

Two Champions League matches this week – Valencia v Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund – took place behind closed doors, while Manchester United's Europa League visit to Austrian club LASK and the games between Eintracht Frankfurt and Basel, and Olympiacos and Wolves will also be staged without supporters.

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has tested positive for COVID-19, while Real Madrid have imposed a quarantine on their squad after a player from the club's basketball team similarly contracted the virus.

As such, Madrid's Champions League last-16 trip to Manchester City next week and Juventus' game with Lyon – both scheduled on the same day as UEFA's video conference – appear impossible to stage.

Madrid's move to self-quarantine persuaded LaLiga to suspend its next two rounds of fixtures, while no games in Serie A will take place until April 3.

Sevilla's Europa League match against Roma and Inter's clash with Getafe have already been postponed.

All matches in Ligue 1 will take place in empty stadia until next month, while the decisions on whether Bundesliga matches can take place with fans present are been taken on a case-by-case basis.

In France and Spain, the finals of the Coupe de France and the Copa del Rey have both been postponed.

The Premier League is yet to take any division-wide action, although City's planned game against Arsenal this week was postponed as a precaution after personnel from the London club came into contact with Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Euro 2020 is due to be staged across 12 European cities in June and July, with the tournament kicking off in Rome. Bosnia-Herzegovina have asked UEFA to postpone their qualification play-off match against Northern Ireland because quarantine measures in the country would compromise which players they can select.

Declared a pandemic on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday there had been 124,518 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,607 deaths.

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