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Liverpool have had to suspend construction work on their new £50m state-of-the-art training ground due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Reds had been due to move to the new ground in Kirkby in July so the first team and academy could train at the same centre, but setbacks could mean that Jurgen Klopp’s squad are forced to stay at their existing base in Melwood for another season.
It is understood that the new facility is only a number of weeks from being ready to welcome the Reds, but social distancing guidelines have forced contractors McLaughlin and Harvey to halt construction.
In addition, Liverpool may have to delay the start of proposed developments to the Anfield Road stand at their stadium, which they hoped would be open by the beginning of the 2022-23 season.
A Liverpool spokesman said: “We can confirm that the development works on the club's new training ground at Kirkby has been paused until further notice.
Construction of Liverpool's new training base in Kirkby is on hold
(Image: Liverpool FC/KSS)
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“McLaughlin and Harvey, the company who is managing the project, has confirmed that it is closing all its construction sites as a result of the government's advice to protect the health and safety of its employees and contractors during the coronavirus outbreak.
“We will work with McLaughlin and Harvey on developing a new timeline for the project when it is safe and right to do so. The health and safety of everyone involved in the project is the immediate priority.”
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A problem might have arisen if the Reds had to stay at Melwood for the 2020-21 season, given that an agreement has already been reached to sell the site to Torus Housing Trust for £10m.
However, the deal to sell the Reds' base of 60 years, which was reached last summer, has a clause which allows Liverpool to stay for another year in the case of unforeseen circumstances.
And the Daily Mail reports that Torus have had discussions with Liverpool officials and are set to delay their plans to allow the Reds to stay at Melwood for as long as they need.
Klopp will then need to make a decision about whether he will move his players and staff from Melwood to Kirkby midway through next season.