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THE Government has held talks with football chiefs over the game leading the nation out of its coronavirus misery..

The high-level discussions between senior government officials and football bosses have taken place even though a restart remains weeks away.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

 Liverpool fans might be especially keen for the Premier League season to be played out, even if it is behind closed doors

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Liverpool fans might be especially keen for the Premier League season to be played out, even if it is behind closed doorsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

 Newcastle manager Steve Bruce wants a 'Festival of Football' with a hectic month to finish the season

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Newcastle manager Steve Bruce wants a ‘Festival of Football’ with a hectic month to finish the seasonCredit: Reuters

It has been made clear to the FA and EFL – and through them to the clubs – that football is viewed as crucial to a return to normality.

At this stage there is no set return date while the threat of the killer virus is so high despite football being halted until April 30.

With non-league football effectively over for the season, only the Premier league and EFL campaigns will remain nominally still ongoing.

The current earliest return date of April 30 is seen as nothing more than a sticking plaster with an acceptance that football will not be back for weeks, if not months.

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But the government has told football chiefs that it would be totally supportive of the game kicking off again as soon as it is judged safe to do so.

One Prem source explained: “There is no way that anybody would even think of getting back on the pitch until the time is right and the medical experts give the all-clear.

“But this is a football-crazy country and the return of the game would give millions of people a real lift.”

Prem clubs will hold their scheduled “shareholder meeting” of the 20 top flight teams by teleconference next week.

At this stage, the agenda has yet to be determined although it is expected that options for a possible return may be laid out for the clubs to discuss.

The majority of Prem players have been ordered to remain at home for the moment, undertaking their own training routines.

PLAYING WITHOUT FANS INEVITABLE

Fitness issues mean that it may take a minimum of three weeks of intensive training once the okay comes before players were deemed sufficiently match-fit to compete fairly.

Clubs already recognise that any initial return will almost certainly see the first games played behind closed doors rather than in front of crowds.

The idea of things instantly returning “back to normal” is accepted as being simply impossible.

And while no clubs want games played without fans, it is viewed as inevitable.

Before the shutdown, which was introduced as a direct result of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta testing positive for Covid-19, Prem chiefs had already drafted a behind closed door policy position.

That included limiting media attendance and to ensure the minimum number of people required for a game to take place safely were allowed inside a stadium.

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Promises of a potential “10-minute test” for the virus would help the swift reintroduction of the game, even if that means support staff being asked to arrive at the stadium earlier to facilitate testing.

Worries about ill players interacting on the pitch are felt to be understandable and real, meaning the squads would all have to be tested on the day and be cleared to play.

But if the concerns were met, and the green light came from the government for a return to competitive sport, football would have the chance to lead the nation out of the darkness.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has called for a ‘Festival of Football’ to get the season finished — with matches every day and teams playing up to 15 league games in a month

Bruce, whose side are 13th in the Premier League and in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, told The Telegraph: “We have to try and get this season finished, whatever that takes, everybody wants that.

“We can have a ‘Festival of Football’ month, games every day, teams playing two or three games a week.

“It is not ideal, but if we can play 10 to 15 games in December and the start of January, we can do it.

“It probably means the start of next season will be delayed, we will probably have to scrap one of the cup competitions and do without a winter break, but it can be done.”

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Inside the Icardis amazing £2.5m Italian villa on Lake Como, where the family is living during the coronavirus crisis

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WANDA NARA had to face the flak of fleeing to coronavirus-hit Italy from Paris, infuriating ex-husband and father of her children Maxi Lopez.

The Argentinian bombshell, and agent and husband to Inter Milan star Mauro Icardi, recently took her family to their luxury abode overlooking Lake Como, and her former beau called her out for breaking quarantine rules.

 Mauro Icardi and Wanda Nara caused controversy by fleeing Paris during the coronavirus crisis

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Mauro Icardi and Wanda Nara caused controversy by fleeing Paris during the coronavirus crisisCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 The Icardis are now self-isolating in their stunning home overlooking Lake Como

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The Icardis are now self-isolating in their stunning home overlooking Lake ComoCredit: Instagram @mauroicardi

 The £2.5m villa boasts an unparalleled view

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The £2.5m villa boasts an unparalleled viewCredit: Twitter @wandaicardi27


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But Nara, 33, insists she didn’t endanger her children, revealing she and the prolific striker drove nine-and-a-half hours to their £2.5million villa.

And judging by these pictures, it’s clear to see why the Icardis love their private and secluded Italian home so much.

BRIENNO

Some 40 miles from Milan, the property is in the city of Brienno – the neighbouring village to where George Clooney lives in Laglio.

The Icardis love spending their time in the picturesque front garden, which is clearly the property’s biggest selling point, in front of their fire pit.

Although Wanda has an apartment in Milan for work purposes when she appears on Italian TV, she has always stated this estate as her dream home.

In fact, when she was first presented with it in 2018, she shared a snap on Instagram with a view of the lake and wrote: “And your husband gives you the house of your dreams.”

THE KIDS LOVE IT

The family have five children, three from her previous relationship to Lopez, and the eldest kids love taking a dip in the lake.

Mauro has been seen enjoying a kickabout with the kids too, with two goals sitting in the garden that make a makeshift pitch.

 Wanda and Mauro Icardi love the outdoor fire pit

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Wanda and Mauro Icardi love the outdoor fire pitCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 The main property boasts three bedrooms, including Wanda's

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The main property boasts three bedrooms, including Wanda’sCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Wanda often shares snaps on Instagram inside the home

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Wanda often shares snaps on Instagram inside the homeCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 While in self-isolation, the Icardi family took full use of the grounds by having a picnic

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While in self-isolation, the Icardi family took full use of the grounds by having a picnicCredit: Instagram @mauroicardi

 If the family are not outside, they are dining inside on the ground floor

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If the family are not outside, they are dining inside on the ground floorCredit: Twitter @wandaicardi27

 A trampoline entertains the kids and Icardi in the grounds

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A trampoline entertains the kids and Icardi in the groundsCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Icardi has goals in his garden to have a kickabout

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Icardi has goals in his garden to have a kickaboutCredit: Twitter @wandaicardi27

Often, Icardi’s dad Juan will man the barbecue and feed his grandchildren while they play out.

A breakfast veranda also allows Wanda and Mauro to enjoy a romantic meal outside together.

The manor house has three floors. Walking through the ground floor leads you to a bright living room with a terrace that offers a panoramic view of the lake.

A walk upstairs leads to three bedrooms and two bathrooms, while in the basement there’s a cellar, a laundry room, and another bathroom.

The property boasts a guest house too, which is divided into two apartments. They each have a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom, living room, and kitchen, as well as space for four cars.

There is also a dock that has space for a small boat, as well as a jet-ski. Wanda and Mauro have also been seen kayaking.

WANDA/MAXI ROW

Icardi and Wanda returned to their Italian home, despite warnings not to leave France, and her ex-hubby Lopez was furious.

Speaking on his Instagram story, the 35-year-old who plays for Serie B side Crotone said: “I would like to know under what criteria you broke the quarantine during a global pandemic.

“The whole world has asked you not to leave and you exposed our kids to a trip to another country.

 Wanda Nara has enough space for her Mercedes G-Wagon

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Wanda Nara has enough space for her Mercedes G-WagonCredit: Twitter @wandaicardi27

 The home features its own dock where Wanda Nara's kids love to swim from

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The home features its own dock where Wanda Nara’s kids love to swim fromCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Icardi often shares images sailing on Lake Como

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Icardi often shares images sailing on Lake ComoCredit: Instagram @mauroicardi

 Both Wanda and Mauro love to go kayaking on the lake too

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Both Wanda and Mauro love to go kayaking on the lake tooCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Icardi is a dog lover and has a Neapolitan Mastiff

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Icardi is a dog lover and has a Neapolitan MastiffCredit: Instagram @mauroicardi

“You moved to the epicentre of the contagion in Italy without even caring about the consequence??

“What is wrong with your head in these moments?

“The most sacred thing in the world right now is the health of our kids? I am outraged by you lack of awareness.

“If you can’t do it for yourselves, do it for them. Today you are the mother of five babies but it seems you don’t realise it.”

However, Wanda bit back.

She replied: “He accused me of bringing the children from Paris to Italy, the heart of the pandemic.

“But Maxi knows very well where we live: I am not in Como, but in a town near Como, where there are very few cases.

“In Paris, I had to leave the one I was renting, the contract expired.

“We also decided to return after consulting with the pediatrician and a first-line doctor.

“All players from PSG have gone to their countries. And now we are Italians, if something happens to me, I prefer that it happens to me here, at home.

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 Maxi Lopez was furious with Wanda Nara for taking their children to Italy during the coronavirus crisis

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Maxi Lopez was furious with Wanda Nara for taking their children to Italy during the coronavirus crisisCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 Lopez felt Wanda was endangering their children by taking them to coronavirus-hit Italy from Paris

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Lopez felt Wanda was endangering their children by taking them to coronavirus-hit Italy from ParisCredit: Instagram @wanda_icardi

 However, Wanda hit back revealing she and Icardi drove from Paris and consulted their doctor first

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However, Wanda hit back revealing she and Icardi drove from Paris and consulted their doctor firstCredit: Instagram

“My country is Italy, which gave me and gave us all the beautiful things we have.

“That’s why I want to stay here. I could also have taken a private flight to return to Argentina, instead, we took two cars from Paris, mine and Mauro’s, divided the children and did 750 kilometers, nine and a half hours of the trip, singing a billion songs non-stop.

“It was riskier to go to Argentina. Maxi, instead of being happy it’s about my intentions as a mother.”

PSG ‘terminate Icardi’s contract with immediate effect’ after agent reveals Inter loanee wants to return to Italy

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Jesse Lingard’s ex Jena Frumes shows Man Utd star what he’s missing after posting series of sexy bikini selfies

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JESSE LINGARD has been reminded what he is missing after his ex uploaded a string of saucy selfies.

The Manchester United midfielder was shown the red card by stunner Jena Frumes just under two years ago.

 Jena Frumes has killed her boredom with a couple of bikini selfies

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Jena Frumes has killed her boredom with a couple of bikini selfies

 Jesse Lingard's ex has left little to the imagination

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Jesse Lingard’s ex has left little to the imagination

Lingard, 27, was dumped after playing away from home and bedding a fan.

Now with plenty of time on her hands in isolation, 24-year-old model Jena has been taking to Instagram to show Lingard what he once had.

With 3.8million followers, she showed off her remarkable figure in a string of revealing bikini pictures.

In one she is standing in her front room leaving little to the imagination in pale blue underwear.

Lingard and American Frumes were together for 15 months after meeting on a pre-season tour of Los Angeles.

But The Sun revealed how their relationship came to an end following a fling with admin assistant Leonie Borek just hours after his team’s 1-2 derby defeat by Manchester City.

He invited her to his £3million Cheshire mansion where she found him eating Domino’s pizza and sipping Disaronno liqueur with Man United team-mate Marcus Rashford.

After Rashford and another pal left, Lingard romped with Leonie three times, including in a hot tub.

In October Jena was forced to deny claims that she was sleeping with Aston Villa ace Jack Grealish.

 The 24-year-old model dated Manchester United's Jesse Lingard for 15 months

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The 24-year-old model dated Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard for 15 months

 The pair broke up in 2018 and Lingard had a fling with a fan

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The pair broke up in 2018 and Lingard had a fling with a fan

 Instagram model Jena has 3.8million followers on the social network site

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Instagram model Jena has 3.8million followers on the social network site

 Jena leaves little to the imagination with her bikini snaps

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Jena leaves little to the imagination with her bikini snapsCredit: Instagram, @jenafrumes

 Jena broke up with Jesse after he played away from home

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Jena broke up with Jesse after he played away from home

Grealish tweeted a photograph of him cheek-to-cheek with Jena following a night out.

After one of her Twitter followers asked: “You not s***ging @JackGrealish1 then Jena?”

She was quick to reply: “Absolutely not, just friends.”

 Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish had posted a picture of him with model Jena Frumes

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Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish had posted a picture of him with model Jena FrumesCredit: Twitter

Jessie Lingard does crazy toilet roll ‘Stay at Home Challenge’

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Erling Haaland reveals Man Utd boss Solskjaer helped turn him into deadly finisher after shooting drills practice

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ERLING HAALAND has revealed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer helped turn him into the deadly finisher he is today thanks to some shooting practice early on in his career.

The on-fire Borussia Dortmund star, 19, rejected the chance to team up with his former Molde boss at Man Utd in January.

 Haaland has revealed shooting tips from Solskjaer helped him become a lethal finisher

Haaland has revealed shooting tips from Solskjaer helped him become a lethal finisher

But Haaland has admitted he owes his lethal touch in front of goal to Solskjaer thanks to some tips of the trade early in his blossoming career.

The former Red Bull Salzburg striker recalled one particular game – with his Molde side taking on Brann – where Solskjaer changed the course of his future with some top tips.

They immediately paid dividends, with Haaland scoring four times in the opening 20 minutes.

Speaking to Eurosport, Haaland revealed: “Before that game, Solskjaer and I did some practice on finishing.

“Not just crosses. I remember he taught me some easy rules.

“That was something he taught me in the days before that game.

“He has taught me a lot to be calm, and also be on your toes and come to those situation where the ball is coming.

“It is then you have the chance to score.

“He deserves a lot of credit for teaching me that.”


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Haaland has already scored an incredible 36 times in just 33 games this season – in stints at Salzburg and Dortmund.

But the Norwegian wasn’t always the goal threat he is now – linked with Real Madrid and Man Utd just to name a few.

Haaland failed to score in the two games leading up to his Brann outburst – and struggled in training.

Solskjaer persevered with the teenager, clearly seeing his talent as worth nurturing despite a difficult session leading up to the career-defining Brann game.

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The on-fire Dortmund forward recalled: “I remember it was frustrating as a young striker, everything goes against you in training.

“I was alone with the keeper and the bar, got crosses from Ole Gunnar [Solskjaer], but I missed on every opportunity.

“I remember Ole then said ‘I think you start this game, so just be ready’.”

Erling Haaland slams ‘comical’ wage demand rumours as Dortmund striker explains why he snubbed Solskjaer and Man Utd

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