Coronavirus: Premier League will return for financial reasons, says De Bruyne
- Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne does not relish playing games in empty stadiums but expects the Premier League season to return.
Kevin De Bruyne believes financial imperatives will force the Premier League to complete the 2019-20 season.
Reports in the UK this week suggested a June 8 restart behind closed doors is on the agenda.
Representatives from England's top clubs met on Friday to discuss the proposals put forward in the so-called 'Project Restart', including safety and testing procedures designed to minimise risks to players and staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Manchester City star De Bruyne expects to be back in training by the middle of this month, even if playing matches at neutral venues without fans does not full him with enthusiasm.
"My feeling says that we may be able to train again within two weeks," he told HLN. "The government wants to restart football as soon as possible to give people something.
"Everything will be finished without fans, I think. That is not really interesting for anyone, but this season will be finished.
"The financial aspect is far too important in the Premier League. If the season is not finished, it will cause serious problems."
Ligue 1 and the Eredivisie have cancelled their seasons, although the Premier League currently stands alongside the Bundesliga, LaLiga and Serie A in intending to reach a conclusion.
City striker Sergio Aguero told El Chiringuito this week that many players were "scared" to return to action because of the increased risk posed to their families, something De Bruyne – whose wife is expecting their third child – understands.
"Everyone will be tested once we start playing again," he said.
"I don't think [players] are really afraid for themselves, but for their family. That is mainly the problem for many people."
24 - Kevin De Bruyne has had a hand in 24 Premier League goals this season (8 goals & 16 assists), three more than the closest player (Jamie Vardy, 21). Zenith. pic.twitter.com/zrEp5H6gVz— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 19, 2020
The Belgium international was enjoying an exceptional campaign individually.
He has eight goals and 16 assists in the Premier League this term, while his man-of-the-match performance inspired City's 2-1 win at Real Madrid in the first leg of a last-16 Champions League tie that is yet to be completed.
"You are in a rhythm and you have to stop suddenly," he added.
"When the league resumes, I don't really see this as an extension of the season. This feels more like the start of a new season.
"I have never stood still for so long in my career. Well, I'm not going to make a problem of it. Greater powers are at work. Whatever is said and decided, I agree."