At Monday’s shareholders’ meeting, English Premier League (EPL) clubs unanimously agreed to enter into short-term contract extensions with players whose deals are set to expire on June 30 this year.
On Monday, the UK government indicated its willingness for live sport to return behind closed doors as early as June 1, so the Premier League are exploring efforts to resume the 2019-20 season past next month.
EPL clubs voiced their concerns over expiring player contracts and registration issues caused by the possibility of this season extending beyond June 30.
So, all shareholders agreed that clubs and players can mutually agree to extend their contracts past that date until the season’s official end – a date yet to be announced.
The Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters said: “What we decided today is to ensure as far as possible that clubs can complete the season with the same squad they had available prior to the suspension of the campaign.
“Players can extend their contracts beyond 30 June until the end of the season, but it must be agreed by both parties.”
Clubs and their players will now have until June 23 to agree short-term extensions for those affected by the suspension of play, though there’s no official word on when the campaign will resume.
What’s next for those players on expiring deals?
Questions will now be raised by some players as to whether or not they want to continue with the risk of injury involved in resuming play with their existing sides.
Chelsea forward Willian, Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser and Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen are among the notable names who find themselves in that situation.
All three have been honest and outspoken in regards to their futures, with speculation linking them with moves across Europe – as well as staying in England – being a free agent makes them all more attractive proposition for interested teams.
Willian is settled and keen to stay in London, alerting Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham. Ryan Fraser has been linked with the aforementioned pair, as well as Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton over the past twelve months.
Vertonghen reveals he may leave the Premier League this summer
Meanwhile during an interview with Belgian TV channel Play Sports, Vertonghen revealed he’s keeping his options open but revealed there is serious interest abroad.
“I want to sign with the right club, it could be Spurs or another club. I really want to continue at [the] top level for a few more years and like to play European football next season.
“Since January, a number of clubs have come forward with serious proposals. The Spanish and Italian leagues are the most obvious for the time being, but I will keep all options open. I’m free, of course, and many clubs don’t have the money to do transfers. Transfer-fee players like me are even more coveted in the coronavirus crisis.”