Chelsea have reportedly requested that first-team players who are overseas return to England by Sunday.
It is understood that the club wants its players to be on standby should the Premier League step up its plans, dubbed ‘Project Restart’, to return to action.
The players given permission to leave the United Kingdom have now been recalled with a target date of May 3, according to a report by ESPN.
The report does, however, add that the club are “flexible to an extent regarding this deadline, recognising the difficulty of international travel, particularly for Willian who is a long-haul flight away in Brazil”.
The Daily Telegraph, which also reports the news, explains that several squad members, including Willian, Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso, were allowed to travel abroad once the coronavirus crisis caused competitive action to be suspended last month.
The club will reportedly then either ask players to quarantine themselves for 14 days if necessary, in line with British government guidelines or seek further advice, taking their lead from the latest protocols.
Frank Lampard manager of Chelsea celebrates the win with his players during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on December 29, 2019, in London, United Kingdom Image credit: Getty Images
Chelsea’s players have been working through individual programmes since March 13, along with those from other Premier League clubs.
This development comes on the same day the Daily Telegraph reported that the Premier League aims to restart on June 8.
Sam Wallace reported that the plans are subject to lockdown rules being relaxed across the country, with the Premier League having circulated plans to clubs that included a resumption of training in mid-May with competition to resume three weeks later.
“The Premier League have circulated a proposed timetable to clubs for a return to action which would see them back in full training on May 18, with the league programme resuming three weeks after that on June 8,” began the report.
“It works on the basis that the next government announcement on lockdown a week today, May 7, eases the measures currently in place. From then, the proposed plan is to test players for Covid-19 over the following weekend, May 9-10, with a view to training in small groups the following Monday (May 11).”