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Chelsea ask players to return for possible Premier League restart

Chelsea have asked their players to return to the United Kingdom by May 3 with the Premier League stepping up plans to complete the season from June 8.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is hopeful of shocking Bayern Munich again in the Champions League

Christian Pulisic is currently in his hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania in the United States, and he is among a group who will need to return by Sunday which also includes Willian and Emerson, who are both in Brazil.

It is understood that Chelsea will be flexible with any player who suffer travel disruptions due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“I’m back in the United States and it’s definitely good to be back with the family at this time,” Pulisic said in an interview with the Chelsea website last week. “They are all doing well; they are all healthy so it’s good.

“Obviously in the US the virus has definitely been growing in certain spots but the town where I am is actually not too bad. There are a couple of cases but nothing like the scale of other places. Hopefully, things can start to slow down anyway.”

The UK government are set to introduce a 14-day quarantine on people returning from overseas and the footballers will be expected to comply.

Meanwhile, the league are targeting a return to full training by May 18, to complete the season by the end of July as dictated by UEFA’s timeline.

The Premier League have begun ‘Project Restart’ to try to complete the season and the next steps will be discussed at a meeting on Friday. Some plans have already been drawn up to allow clubs to return including players training with face masks, a ban on spitting and regular disinfection of equipment.

Footballers will also be required to take a Covid-19 test 48-hours before training to be cleared to return. Members of the Premier League will fund these tests.

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s fitness staff have been leading solo and group sessions for players to keep fit online while Frank Lampard and his coaching staff are in constant communication with their squad over WhatsApp.

The Blues players had been allowed to leave the country on a case-by-case basis, and they were able to continue their programmes overseas.

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Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and Brighton have already reopened their training grounds for players to conduct solo sessions but the Blues have yet to do the same.

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