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Coronavirus: Juventus not expecting Ronaldo & other foreign stars to return before May 18

The Serie A leaders could welcome back their players to training next week, although there will not be pressure on those abroad to return quickly

Juventus will not be in a rush to call back their foreign players who have chosen to leave Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite confirmation that individual training sessions could start again on May 4.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced on April 26 that, from May 4 onwards, “professional athletes and those of national interest will be able to train while following social distancing rules behind closed doors”.

Sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora added that team training would be allowed from May 18, should “conditions of safety and security” be confirmed prior to that date.

Despite the optimism over resuming the 2019-20 Serie A campaign Juve are reluctant to put pressure on their first-team players to return, with a select number having made the decision to isolate themselves abroad.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been in Madeira with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez and his children, while former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is currently in Poland and Adrien Rabiot is back in his homeland in France.

Midfielder Miralem Pjanic has returned to Turin but there a number of the club’s South American stars who are not currently present in Italy.

That includes Danilo, Alex Sandro and Douglas Costa, while Gonzalo Higuain is back in Argentina with his mother, who is battling cancer.

Indeed, Juve are understanding of the delicate situation involving Higuain but Goal has learned that the former Real Madrid and Chelsea forward intends to return as soon as the club require him to do so, and that he does not want to damage his relationship with the Serie A leaders.

Despite the recommendations around returning to training, it’s unclear exactly when Serie A will be given the green light to continue, with teams having 12 and 13 matches of the 2019-20 league campaign still to play.

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