Aston Villa has offered to host the Champions League final amid doubts over the suitability of Covid-stricken Turkey as venue of the match, according to reports.
The all-Premier League encounter between Manchester City and Chelsea is scheduled to take place on May 29 at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul.
But with Turkey currently under lockdown following an alarming surge in coronavirus cases, MPs (Members of Parliament) and health experts are among those calling for the showpiece event to be switched to England to prevent seemingly unnecessary travel and limit the risk of further transmission.
While UEFA has insisted the venue will not change, reports emerged on Thursday that the Villa Park would be made available as an alternative, according to DPA.
Villa are yet to respond to those suggestions but manager Dean Smith is likely to be asked about the subject.
On Thursday afternoon, the West Midlands club fuelled rumours by tweeting aerial footage of their stadium, accompanied by a heart emoji.
Istanbul was due to host the 2020 Champions League final before it was played behind closed doors in Lisbon because of the impact of the global pandemic.
Staging the game in England would pose a number of logistical issues, including visitors — such as delegates from national associations — being required to self-isolate for up to 10 days upon arrival.
UEFA would also have to inspect and approve the replacement stadium.
Wembley is almost certainly out of running as it is set to host the Championship play-off final on May 29.
If current plans to host the final in Turkey remain, and the country is not added to the British Government’s ‘green list’ of countries when England’s international travel ban is lifted on May 17, UK residents attending the final in Istanbul would be required to self-isolate for up to 10 days on their return.
Chelsea booked their spot in the biggest match in club football on Wednesday by overcoming Real Madrid 3-1 on aggregate, while City defeated Paris St Germain the previous evening, winning 4-1 over two legs.