EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Leeds United headline summer signing Helder Costa is set to be among the senior stars left behind as the club prepare to jet to Australia tomorrow for their pre-season tour, Football Insider can reveal.
Marcelo Bielsa has decided to leave the new recruits and players who returned late to pre-season due to international commitments back in England to work on their fitness.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Costa, Ben White, Liam McCarron as well as Jack Clarke, who returned to United on loan after joining Tottenham for £9million, are among those told they will not need to join the travelling party to Australia for the two-match tour.
The likes of Ezgjan Alioski, Mateusz Klich, and Jamie Shackleton, who were all on senior or junior international duty this summer, are also in line to be notable absentees from the trip.
This comes after Football Insider revealed this morning that Bielsa was weighing up omitting some of his star players from the squad headed on the 10,000-mile trip Down Under.
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, who signed a new contract at the end of May in full knowledge of the tour schedule, is unhappy that his side are travelling to the other side of the world for fixtures against Manchester United and Western Sydney.
The Leeds players who were back at Thorp Arch for the start of pre-season training at the end of June, including exit-linked Kalvin Phillips, will be on the plane heading to Australia.
But other stay, including Costa, will stay behind in England and work on their fitness to ensure they are in prime shape for the Championship curtainraiser against Bristol City at Ashton Gate on 4 August.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that Marcelo Bielsa is planning to omit star players from his squad for the tour of Australia.