EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Marcelo Bielsa is prepared to omit some of Leeds United’s star players from the squad travelling to Australia for their pre-season tour, Football Insider can reveal.
The Argentine is considering not including any new signings or players who returned to pre-season late due to international duty commitments in the squad that will make the long-haul trip this weekend.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that means the likes of Ezgjan Alioski, Mateusz Klich, and Jamie Shackleton, who were all on international duty this summer, may not make the trip to Australia.
They could be left behind along with new signings Helder Costa, Ben White, Liam McCarron and Jack Clarke, who rejoined Leeds on loan after signing for Tottenham.
As revealed by Football Insider yesterday, Bielsa is at loggerheads with Leeds chiefs over the timing of the tour, which he believes will have a negative effect on his side’s preparations for the new Championship campaign starting in early August.
The Argentine is unhappy that his side are travelling 10,000 miles to play pre-season fixtures against Manchester United and Western Sydney.
There have been heated discussions behind the scenes about the trip, with the Leeds hierarchy making it clear that it is vital to the club’s commercial growth.
Nevertheless, Bielsa is keen for some of his players, including headline summer arrival Costa, to stay behind in England and work on their fitness while the rest of the squad in Australia to ensure they are up to speed for their opening game of the season.
Leeds’ campaign gets underway with a league clash against Bristol City at Ashton Gate on 4 August.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are plotting a swoop to sign Brentford 27-year-old after £2million bid submitted.