Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero believes many Premier League players will be fearful of resuming the season in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially putting their families at risk in the rush to get back on the pitch.
The Argentina forward has said the thought of returning to training and playing matches frightens him and the feeling will be mutual among lots of players.
“The majority of players are scared because they have family, they have children, they have babies,” he told El Chiringuito TV.
“When we go back, I imagine that we will be very tense, we will be very careful and the moment someone feels ill, you will think: ‘What’s gone on there?’. It does scare me.”
The coronavirus has killed over 26,000 people in the United Kingdom and infected more than 165,000.
Premier League clubs are due to meet on Friday to discuss plans to resume training and complete the season, but Aguero believes the nature of the virus will naturally leave players at risk until a vaccine is readily available.
“There are people who have it, but they don’t have symptoms and they can infect you. You can be infected and you don’t know anything about it,” he said.
Rudiger believes it must be clear there is no danger of spreading infection further with a Premier League re-start.
Sources told ESPN that Chelsea have asked their first-team players who are overseas to return to England by Sunday and be on standby should the Premier League step up plans to return.
“If we continue to play and there is a danger, and we ignore that while people are dying somewhere in the world, I don’t know if that would sit right on my conscience,” he told Germany’s ZDF.
“If everything fits and it comes from those in charge that it’s okay, there’s no danger, then we can start.
“But if there is a danger that it will start again and more people will get infected [then there should be no re-start].”
Rudiger added that if the season cannot get back underway and is cancelled, runaway leaders Liverpool should be handed the league title, which would be their first since 1990.
“Honestly, as far as I’m concerned they can give Liverpool the title. At the end of the day they deserve it, they’ve had a great season,” he said.
“They were going to win the thing anyway, so the title is theirs ethically. Of course, I hope that the season can be finished and it will be sporting for everyone.”
Reuters contributed to this report.