Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Wolves, the Premier League's four remaining European participants this season, will be granted an extended summer break that will enable them to start the 2020-21 campaign later than their rivals if they reach the Champions League or Europa League final next month, sources have told ESPN.
Only 49 days separate the final round of the 2019-20 season and the start of the 2020-21 season on Sept. 12, giving all Premier League clubs little time to rest their squads and prepare for the new term.
But with City still facing Champions League fixtures and United and Wolves battling it out to win the Europa League, all three clubs could have just three weeks to prepare for next season if they progress to the final of their respective competition.
Chelsea could also be granted an extended break but they will need to overcome Bayern Munich in the second-leg after losing the first game 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.
City will qualify for an eight-team mini-tournament in Lisbon next month if they eliminate Real Madrid in their round-of-16 second-leg at the Etihad on Aug. 7 -- Pep Guardiola's team lead 2-1 from the first-leg.
United and Wolves, meanwhile, will qualify for a similar Europa League mini-tournament in Germany if they progress from the second-leg of their round-of-16 ties against LASK and Olympiakos respectively.
The Europa League final will take place in Cologne on Aug. 21, with Benfica's Estadio da Luz hosting the Champions League final two days later.
But sources have told ESPN that Premier League clubs are entitled to a minimum of 30 days rest between the end of one season and that start of another, which is likely to lead to any European finalist playing their first league game of the 2020-21 campaign no earlier than the second weekend of the new season.
Starting on Sept. 19, a week later than the rest of the league, would still be shorter than the 30 day minimum, but sources have said that discussions are still ongoing in terms of next season's schedule.
The fixture list could also be further disrupted by the UEFA Super Cup, which is due to be staged in Budapest on Sept. 24, with the prospect of City playing either United or Wolves if there is a repeat of last season, when English clubs -- Liverpool and Chelsea -- won both major European trophies.
The Champions League group stage will begin on Oct. 20, with all six match days scheduled to be completed by Dec. 9.