Man Utd could play Real Sociedad in Italy due to coronavirus restrictions

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Manchester United could end up playing the away leg of their upcoming Europa League last 32 tie against Real Sociedad in Italy because of coronavirus travel restrictions in Spain that may prevent the Premier League side from entering the country.

United are scheduled to play the first leg of the tie away from home on Thursday 18 February, although it might no longer go ahead at the Estadio Anoeta in San Sebastian as originally planned.

Real Sociedad v SD Eibar - La Liga Santander
Anoeta in San Sebastian is supposed to host the first leg | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Liverpool are already having to face RB Leipzig in the Champions League in Hungary instead of Germany, while there is also talk of Chelsea’s upcoming away leg against Atletico Madrid in the same competition being relocated to Romania.

According to Marca, the Allianz Stadium in Turin, usually home to Juventus, is looking like a possible replacement venue for United’s first leg of the tie against La Real.

Spain introduced travel restrictions on all passengers from the UK by air and sea shortly before Christmas, which the ban currently in place until 16 February. Should those measures, which only offer exemptions to Spanish citizens and legal residents or those in international transit through Spanish airports providing a negative test, be extended, the game would be in jeopardy.

Juventus v FC Internazionale - Serie A
The game could be played at the Allianz Stadium instead | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Marca notes that La Real have been determined to have the match played at Anoeta, as even without fans in the stadium, moving it will cost them their home advantage.

If both clubs and UEFA agree about the proposed relocation to Turin, Juventus would also have to give their consent for the game to go ahead in their stadium.

United are due to host La Real in the second leg at Old Trafford on Thursday 25 February, their reward for entering the Europa League as one of the seeded Champions League dropouts.

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