Noel Whelan has suggested Covid-19 could be behind Liam Cooper’s absence at Leeds United. 

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted comments from the likes of Marcelo Bielsa and Steve Clarke pointed towards a Coronavirus case.

Speaking earlier this week, Marcelo Bielsa confirmed Cooper was still suffering from an illness that forced him out against Chelsea.

The centre-back also sat out against Fulham and was notably absent from the Scotland squad named earlier this week.

Discussing Cooper’s omission, manager Steve Clarke revealed he may have been available for the third game against the Faroe Islands at the end of the month.

With the defender set to be out for over two weeks, Whelan suggested Covid may have played a part.

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Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: Well, is he run down or is it Covid? You can read what you want into it these days.

“They don’t have to come out and say that. If you read between the lines, the day and age that we’re living in, there’s a good chance that could be it.

“But look, I’d be more worried if we didn’t have centre-halves. We’ve got three out of four now which is fantastic. We’ve got a choice of what we want. We can play the two summer signings for the first time if we want to.”

Cooper has played 22 times for Leeds this season, with one Premier League goal under his belt.

He also has picked up four caps for Scotland since his debut in 2019.

In other news, Whelan has admitted he is seriously concerned by what he has heard about Rodrigo at Leeds United.