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Report: Liverpool, Man United in talks to join new tournament

Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards react to reports of a new FIFA-sanctioned "European Premier League" that would rival the Champions League.

Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly in talks over joining a new FIFA-backed tournament which could dramatically reshape the future of continental competition in Europe, which would be called the ‘European Premier League.’

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A report from our partners at Sky News in the UK state that up to 18 teams from across Europe could sign up for the competition, with JP Morgan providing a $6 billion funding package for the tournament which would be known as the European Premier League competition.

It is also reported that Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur could possibly join the competition, which would clearly rival the UEFA Champions League.

After the report broke, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has distanced himself from backing the new competition.

Here are more details from our partners in the UK at Sky News, who say an announcement on this tournament could come as early as later this month and it could begin play in 2020:

Sky News has learnt that financiers are assembling a $6bn (£4.6bn) funding package to assist the creation of what could become known as the European Premier League. More than a dozen teams from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are in negotiations about becoming founder members of the competition.

As many as five English clubs could sign up to join it, with a provisional start date said to have been discussed as early as 2022. Sources said that FIFA, football’s world governing body, had been involved in developing the new format, which is expected to comprise up to 18 teams, and involve fixtures played during the regular European season.

The top-placed teams in the league would then play in a knockout format to conclude the tournament, with prize money for the winners expected to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

Following the backlash from ‘Project Big Picture’ last week as Premier League clubs voted unanimously against a plan to give English powerhouses a bigger say in how the league operates, those same clubs will no doubt be under scrutiny for trying to break away from UEFA and the Champions League.

This will be a huge talking point, as FIFA president Infantino will have plenty of explaining to do to his European counterparts.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports