Liverpool plan European pre-season tour amidst coronavirus fears
According to The Athletic (h/t Daily Mail), the coronavirus outbreak has forced Liverpool to abandon their pre-season tour to Asia and will instead stay in Europe.
The club had been exploring the option of a lucrative one-off game to be held in China. These plans have now been shelved with the club set to remain in Europe for the first time in a decade.
This was also to be Liverpool’s first trip to Asia since 2017, having spent the last two pre-seasons in America. The Reds took part in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong, which they won by defeating Leicester City 2-1 in the final.
According to the report, the news will be met well by Jurgen Klopp who had already informed the owners of his preference for organizing the training camp in Europe.
The German feels that his side will be better served by traveling less, reducing the risk of fatigue. He believes that this will give the team a boost going into the new season.
With the European Championships and the Copa America to be held in the summer, a number of first-teamers will be returning late to the club.
Liverpool stands to lose out on an estimated £5million in revenue by shelving the tour of Asia. The club is confident of recouping the amount by lining up high-profile friendlies against elite teams. Last July, the Reds regularly attracted huge crowds of between 30,000 and 40,000 in America and will hope to pack out bigger venues in Europe this summer.
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The Reds are yet to confirm the plans publicly. Unless the circumstances change in the coming weeks, they plan to stay in Europe at least for this summer.
Liverpool are currently just six points away from securing the Premier League title. The Reds could very well be turning out for pre-season as the defending champions.