Leeds United add two headline summer friendlies to Marcelo Bielsa's busy pre-season schedule

Leeds United have added two headline fixtures to their busy 2021/22 pre-season schedule.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 1:35 pm
Leeds United will travel to face Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena next month. Pic: Getty

The Whites have confirmed a fourth friendly of the summer will take place against Spanish side Real Betis, the former club of summer signing Junior Firpo, while a fifth fixture at Dutch giants Ajax has also been pencilled in.

Betis, managed by ex Manchester City and West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini, are already booked in to host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stadium Municipal of La Línea de la Concepción on July 24 and will travel to Championship club Derby County four days later at Pride Park.

A game against Marcelo Bielsa s Premier League Whites will now take place on July 31 at Loughborough University (12:30) to bookend their stay in England. The La Liga side finished sixth in the table last season, in Pellegrini's first campaign in charge.

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Real Betis announced on Thursday that despite vaccinating the squad, who are currently training in Switzerland, a pair of positive Covid-19 cases had been discovered through their testing programme. The pair were isolating away from the rest of the group, who were subsequently following health protocols.

Leeds will also face a brief trip to Amsterdam to take on Ajax on Wednesday, August 4 (19.15) at the Johan Cruyff Arena as they conclude their pre-season competitive action.

No away fans will be permitted for the clash with Erik ten Hag's outfit due to travel restrictions but ticket details will be announced in due course for the clash with Real Betis.

The Whites are already due to travel to Guiseley, Blackburn Rovers and Fleetwood Town in what will be a hectic week of friendly action.

The game at Guiseley takes place on July 27, before a trip to Ewood Park 24 hours later and a reunion with Simon Grayson at Fleetwood on July 30.

Bielsa's squad, minus the players involved in Euro 2020, returned for pre-season testing a fortnight ago. Diego Llorente was due to rejoin his team-mates at Thorp Arch this week, leaving only Kalvin Phillips on a post-tournament break.

It is now only one month until the Premier League season begins at Old Trafford against Manchester United and the bulk of Leeds' summer first team recruitment is still to be completed.

Firpo joined from Barcelona to fill the left-back vacancy voided by Gjanni Alioski and Jack Harrison became a permanent fixture at Elland Road from Manchester City, leaving Victor Orta with the task of getting deals over the line for a central midfielder, winger and, in the wake of Kiko Casilla's return to Spain on loan, a goalkeeper.