Serie A clubs could be allowed to finish the 2019-20 season as late as October, according to Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina.
Italy's top flight was suspended indefinitely last month due to the spread of coronavirus, and the FIGC stated on Friday that the season would not be resumed until the health and safety of all concerned could in some way be guaranteed.
Italy has been the country hardest hit by COVID-19 in Europe, with close to 129,000 confirmed cases and more than 15,800 deaths, although official figures over recent days have indicated strict lockdown measures are having an effect on the spread of the virus.
Gravina says the proposed date of May 17 to restart Serie A remains a possibility, but he insists it would be best to allow 2019-20 to finish much later this year if necessary, rather than declare the season cancelled.
"It's a hypothesis," Gravina told RAI when asked if a September or October finish had been put forward. "At the moment, a possible date to restart could be May 17, but I want to clarify that this is only a hypothesis.
"Finishing the season would be the best way not only so the 2019-20 season is not compromised, but also to avoid compromising the 2020-21 season in any way."
There are signs Italy's stringent measures to enforce social distancing and limit all non-essential travel are working, with the number of new deaths falling over the past three days, while the rate of confirmed new cases also appears to be going down.
However, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte admitted earlier on Sunday that he cannot offer any guarantee when lockdown measures will be eased.
"Right now, I can't say when the lockdown will end. We are following the directions of the scientific committee, but Italy was the first nation [in Europe] to face the emergency," Conte said.
"Our response was maybe not perfect, but we have done our best based on the knowledge we have.
"The validity of the measures we have taken has been recognised by the World Health Organization and the results indicate we're on the right path."
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