Here are the Leeds United evening headlines on Thursday, August 12, 2021.
Palace prepare approach for Leeds-linked midfielder
It’s no secret that Marcelo Bielsa’s number one target to add to his midfield options was Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher. However, Leeds were beaten to the signing of the England Under-21 international, as he chose to go to Crystal Palace on a season-long loan. It’s believed that he felt he would get more immediate first-team starts by joining Patrick Vieira’s side.
Now, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke, the two clubs might be set to battle it out once again.
It’s said that Palace were ‘ready to rival’ Leeds for the signing of Huddersfield’s Lewis O’Brien. The Terriers’ youngster had been identified as Leeds’ top target following Gallagher’s choice to go to Selhurst Park so it would leave a bitter taste in the mouth for those at Elland Road if they lost out on O’Brien to the same club.
It will be interesting to follow events from here as talks between Leeds and Huddersfield have not been progressing in recent days. If it is the case that Palace are making a serious play for the midfielder, it could make Leeds move closer towards Huddersfield’s original valuation in hopes of doing a deal quickly.
Leeds announce new contract for Bielsa
This evening Leeds have announced a new contract for Bielsa, taking him into his fourth season at the club.
Earlier today, Bielsa conducted his first pre-match press conference of the season this afternoon and his contract situation was quickly on the agenda.
The Argentine quickly answered that this was ‘already resolved’.
Pushed on further details, he said it was ‘one year, as habitual’.
Whilst the fanbase would love their manager to tie himself to the club for longer, the news was met with joy on social media, as expected. In any case, Bielsa has already been at Leeds for a longer period of time than any other club in his career. For him to stay for three seasons was already unprecedented, let alone a fourth.
Injury updates ahead of Man Utd
During the press conference, Bielsa issued the injury news fans had been waiting for after a period of speculation over injuries picked up during pre-season games.
Unfortunately, Diego Llorente will not be available for a few more weeks after picking up a muscle injury against Real Betis. The centre-back missed 17 Premier League games through injury last term and when he recovers he will hope for better injury luck in the future.
The good news is that new signing, Junior Firpo is available after a knock kept him out of the final two friendlies and Jamie Shackleton has recovered from his head injury and is also available.
Kalvin Phillips has not been injured but there was a question around his inclusion due to his limited involvement in pre-season after the Euros. Bielsa intimated that he would be involved at Old Trafford though, saying: “He’s done a different type of work, a more brief one. The preparation time he had was half that of his teammates, but he’s done this in a very serious manner with a lot of dedication and he’s in conditions to have options to participate, but it’s natural that the time he needed to be prepared has not been completed yet.”
It’s unclear if he will be included in the starting eleven at this stage.