La Liga to resume from June 8 as Spanish Prime Minister confirms restart date

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has given the go-ahead for La Liga to return as soon as 8 June.

There has been no football played in the country's top division since Eibar's game against Real Sociedad on 10 March, but there is now optimism it can follow the lead of the Bundesliga, with matches set to resume behind closed doors.

Spain has been on of the worst-hit countries in Europe from coronavirus, but with cases now dropping businesses are gradually re-opening, and football looks set for a comeback in the near future.

While Sanchez suggested June 8 as the possible restart date, it appears more likely that June 12 or June 19 will be chosen as the dates for a return.

La Liga president Javier Tebas is set to officially confirm the news in the coming days. 

In response to the news, a statement from La Liga read: "We are very pleased with the decision, it is the result of the great work of clubs, players, coaches, CSD, agents, etc.

"But we cannot lower our guard, it is important to follow health regulations and ensure the pandemic doesn't come back."

La Liga clubs have been back in training since earlier this month, and the Seville derby between Sevilla and Real Betis looks set to be the first game back on the calendar.

Barcelona currently top the table with 58 points after 27 games, with Real Madrid just two points behind them.

Each team has 11 more matches to play, meaning the season could be concluded in theory by the end of July.

Earlier this week Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said he was confident his side could overtake Barcelona if La Liga is able to return.

Speaking to Real Madrid TV, he said: "We have to think positively.

"The players see that there are 11 games left (in LaLiga) and they want to finish strongly in order to win a trophy. It's in the DNA of the club.

"I'm happy to be back training with my players after 60 days. We're all happy to be back. We planned the physical preparation and they worked really well at home. They were in shape.

"This week has been very good for working, albeit in small groups. But we can work on a little more tactically. The team looks better this week."

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Barcelona decision hands Man Utd and Man City advantage in Saul Niguez pursuit

Man Utd and Man City have been given a free run at Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez after Barcelona decided against taking up their first option to buy the midfielder.

Niguez has been linked with a transfer this summer following his impressive displays in La Liga and the Champions League.

United and City are keen admirers and are both rumoured to be weighing up a move, with Atleti demanding around £150million for the 25-year-old.

Barca had put themselves in a good position though, having agreed a £15m deal with Atletico in October to have first option on five of their rivals' players, including Niguez.

But Mundo Deportivo report Barca have opted not to lodge a bid for Niguez, leaving United and City to battle it out.

Such an agreement would not have guaranteed Barcelona would have landed Niguez, only that they would be offered the chance to match any bid from competitors.

The Catalan club are reportedly concerned over their finances amid the current economic crisis, and have prioritised other targets.

United in particular have shown a big interest in Niguez, and are already lining up a huge financial package to tempt him to the club.

The Red Devils have sent scouts to watch Niguez on several occasions, and are now prepared to offer him an £85,000 increase on his current Atletico salary.

More troublesome for United is the star's transfer fee, with Atletico not willing to accept anything lower than £135m in return.

United were initially only prepared to offer up to £70m, but could up their bid depending on outgoings at the club this summer.

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Barcelona star Luis Suarez opens door to return to former club

Luis Suarez has hinted that he may opt to return to one of his former clubs after his Barcelona contract runs out in the summer of 2021.

The 33-year-old forward has been one of the best strikers in Europe over the last decade and has scored 191 goals and provided 108 assists in 270 appearances for the Catalan club.

Before that, the Uruguayan lit up the Premier League with Liverpool, with his Golden Boot-winning campaign almost bringing the title to Anfield in the 2013-14 season.

Suarez has maintained that he would like to stay with Barcelona beyond his existing contract, but a former teammate believes he may be able to lure him from Camp Nou.

Sebastian Abreu, who is now a player-manager with Uruguayan club Boston River, is the man trying to bring Suarez back to his homeland.

He told Uruguayan radio station 890: “I spoke with Suarez and he said that if I am the coach of Nacional he could return.”

Abreu was leading the line for Nacional in the 2004-05 season as Suarez was coming through the ranks at the club’s academy, and a reunion could be on the cards for the former Uruguay teammates.

However, Suarez’s focus remains on Barcelona for the time being. “There is the option that if I play 60 per cent of the games I'm available for next year, I [will] renew automatically,” he told Catalan radio station RAC1 in February.

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