EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa is at loggerheads with club chiefs over the forthcoming pre-season trip to Australia, Football Insider understands.
The Argentine is unhappy with the timing of the long-haul trip and the effect it will have on his players just a few weeks before the start of the Championship season.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Bielsa has made his feelings clear to the club hierarchy and would much prefer for his players to remain at their Thorp Arch headquarters and train as normal as part of their pre-season preparations.
The 63-year-old signed a contract extension at the end of May in the knowledge that Leeds are due to fly to Australia in the next few days.
They are scheduled to play two pre-season friendlies next week against bitter rivals Manchester United and Western Sydney Wanderers, as well as undergo promotional work.
The playing side of the tour includes a fixture against Manchester United on July 17 in Perth before Leeds take on Australian A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers three days later.
The source explained that Bielsa is very unimpressed that his squad will be forced to make such a long-haul trip and play the two games just 15 days before they kick-off their Championship campaign against Bristol City.
The manager, who is a stickler for preparation that reaches his exacting standards, is worried about the effects on key players ahead of a season in which his side will start as one of the favourites to secure promotion.
Leeds regard the presence of Bielsa and the senior players in Australia as critical to the commercial success of the tour, and have made that clear behind the scenes.
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.