Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan admitted he is “okay” with handing Liverpool the Premier League title following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Reds are 25 points clear at the top of the table but uncertainty over when the 2019-20 season will resume is leading some to suggest it may not be finished at all.
City clinched back-to-back titles in the previous two seasons, but Gundogan – who won the Bundesliga under Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during their time together at Borussia Dortmund – would have no issue in conceding the crown to their rivals this season.
He told German broadcaster ZDF: “It would be okay for me. You have to be sporting.”
Asked whether playing out the rest of the season behind closed doors might appeal as an option, Gundogan replied: “Honestly, I can’t imagine that – and I don’t know how realistic it is.”
With the Football Association opting to cancel the season for all clubs below the three National League divisions in non-league football, many of the smaller clubs in England are facing difficulties amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gundogan would be in favour of top players sacrificing their salaries to help those struggling lower down the football pyramid during the crisis, saying: “Of course I would find that okay, of course. The lower league clubs do not have it so easy.”
The 29-year-old, who joined City in June 2016, revealed he is finding life difficult during the lockdown.
“You are sometimes afraid to go for a walk for 10 to 15 minutes outside, even though it was oddly and ironically extremely beautiful weather here in Manchester,” said Gundogan.