Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has denied that he asked for the Premier League’s restart date to be pushed back by a week in Wednesday’s meetings with fellow managers.
The government has given the English top flight the green light to resume from June 1 at the earliest if player welfare permits, with earlier meetings on Monday leading to hope that training could take place next week.
As such, a start date of June 12 was originally pencilled in by top flight chiefs but the Daily Mirror reported on Thursday that Mourinho led calls for the restart to be pushed back a week.
The report claimed that Mourinho was keen to allow players enough time to return to full fitness, given the lengthy postponement enforced since the start of March.
“I don’t think my position in the meeting has been reflected fairly at all today in media reports. I have not asked for any delay,” the manager said.
“I want to train, and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it is safe to do so, particularly now we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action.
“I am extremely proud of the way my players have maintained their fitness – they have shown great professionalism, passion and dedication.
“We have all been working extremely hard through remote squad training sessions and isolated running now the pitches are available to use again at the training centre.
“Every player has been extremely committed in terms of their individual work and now we wait for clearance to commence working in small groups again, which I will fully support.”
While the Premier League continues to debate whether to resume action, the Bundesliga is set to return this weekend and a majority of Serie A clubs voted to continue the Italian top flight on June 13.
A Premier League shareholders’ meeting on Monday is set to decide whether clubs go ahead with ‘Project Restart’.