Premier League: Gary Neville warns more players may reject training return

Neville: "I know there are Premier League clubs with five or six players who don't want to return or are uncomfortable with certain things around stage two or three."

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Gary Neville says he knows of Premier League clubs that have five or six players who are uncomfortable about returning

Gary Neville has warned that more players may reject a return to Premier League training - but Jamie Carragher says he is increasingly confident that the league will resume this summer.

The league voted unanimously on Monday to start 'small group' training with immediate effect.

But Watford captain Troy Deeney has already said he will not return to training this week amid concerns for his own son's health.

"I know there are Premier League clubs with five or six players who don't want to return or are uncomfortable with certain things around stage two or three," Neville told The Football Show.

"We do have more problems and issues to resolve over the coming weeks."

But Carragher doesn't believe the reluctance of a small number of players to return to training is likely to derail plans to resume the Premier League season this summer.

He said: "We have always said on this show that if a player does not feel safe or sound to go back, he can't go back. This was always going to be the case that maybe one or two players in every squad may not feel safe and may not want to go back.

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"I do not think that would stop the Premier League going on. If players en masse said they did not want to be involved, then that would be a big problem.

"But if one or two players in every club, that is something the clubs and Premier League will just have to accept and try and get them on board going forward."

With the Premier League still looking for a 'June return and July finish', Carragher added: "The Bundesliga has returned and I'm very confident that the Premier League will restart. This is just the start.

"A player will test positive for Covid-19 today and there will be more questions to get through in the different phases but I am a lot more confident than l was a month ago that the Premier League will start."

Project Restart composite
Image: Players are Premier League clubs will return to training this week

Neville: Premier League should consider quarantining players

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has revealed that the league is exploring "some interesting scheduling options" to facilitate its return and Neville has suggested that quarantining players into a 'Premier League bubble' could be a viable solution.

He said: "I thought the way the Premier League wanted to go about restarting would revolve around players being quarantined not just for the 14 days before the first match but for a two-to-three-week period where they were going to shove the nine games so they could be played as quick as possible in a condensed period.

"It would almost be like a World Cup where players are quarantined for a period. It's not unusual for players to be away for four or five weeks before and then three weeks for a tournament - I'm not sure why the games have to be spread over five or six weeks?"

Despite the suggestion requiring players to be quarantined for the entire nine-game period to the season end, Neville continued: "I think it would be readily accepted by players. I went to eight tournaments with England as a player or coach and was away for five or six weeks and the majority of Premier League players are internationals who would have also experienced that before.

Diogo Jota returns to Wolves' training ground
Image: Diogo Jota returns to Wolves' training ground

"The reality is you have do what's necessary to get things done. I think the best to do it would be to keep them in quarantine away from their families. The concern would be after the players had played the first game and returned to their families where potentially in July retail stores and restaurants will be open again.

"You can tell the players not to go to shops or restaurants but their family members will be - you can't quarantine the family members. That is a concern with players being exposed to family members who are going out into society."

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