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Liverpool could be forced to stay at Melwood as work on new £50m Kirkby base is STOPPED

Liverpool have been forced to halt work on their new £50million training ground in Kirkby and could be set to stay at Melwood for another 12 months.

It had been the club’s intention to move to the new state-of-the-art base at the beginning of July that would enable the first team and the Academy to be on one site but that plan has now put on hold due to the impact of the Coronavirus.

Though the facility at Kirkby is a matter of weeks away from being completed, the rules on social distancing at work means the construction at Kirkby has now stopped – and there is no indication when it will begin again.

Liverpool completed a £10million deal to sell Melwood, which has been their historic home for more than 60 years, to Torus Housing Trust last August but a clause was inserted into the contract that enabled Liverpool to stay for another year in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Torus have had discussions with Anfield officials and are prepared to delay their own plans to enable Liverpool to stay at Melwood for as long as they need. The one question would be whether Jurgen Klopp wanted to uproot his squad during the middle of the 2020/21 campaign to move to Kirkby.

Work at Kirkby was halted by contractors McLaughlin and Harvey on Wednesday in the light of the government’s safe distancing and self-isolation measures.  

A club spokesman said: “We can confirm that the development works on the club’s new training ground at Kirkby has been paused until further notice.

‘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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