GAETANO BERARDI and Mateusz Klich are poised to return to full training on Thursday as Leeds United’s preparations for the new Sky Bet Championship season continues.
Berardi and Klich both missed United’s final game of their pre-season tour of Austria against Spanish side Eibar on Sunday, with Berardi picking up a knock in training.
Klich, meanwhile, has been recovering from a muscle injury picked up in the build-up to the friendly at Guiseley played on the Saturday before Leeds set off for Austria.
But both players are set to return to full training at Thorp Arch on Thursday when United’s players return to action having been given two days off following their tour of Austria. Klich did not feature in any of United’s three friendlies in Austria but has been involved in intense fitness training with the club’s medical staff.
Berardi is also expected to be over his knock by the time United’s players return to training on Thursday, two days before the club’s final pre-season friendly at home to Oxford United – managed by former Whites assistant head coach Pep Clotet.
New United head coach Thomas Christiansen has seen his club recruit nine new players this summer and Leeds are likely to add further recruits later this week.
The club are on with their search for two or three further additions with United looking to bolster their defence as well as looking at options upfront.
But the YEP understands that Leeds are not looking at West Ham United striker Ashley Fletcher, despite reports in other media outlets on Monday suggesting otherwise.
Leeds have also been linked with a move for Bristol City’s Aiden Flint and Aston Villa’s Tommy Elphick but neither player is thought to be on United’s radar.
But the need for defensive recruits, and centre-backs in particular, was again highlightd by Sunday’s 4-2 loss to La Liga side Eibar who raced into a 3-0 lead by half-time.
United lined up with Pontus Jansson alongside new Everton loanee Matthew Pennington at centre-back and Pennington was substituted for Liam Cooper at half-time.
But Leeds then lost Jansson to injury, leaving Conor Shaughnessy to partner Cooper for the remainder of the match.
Shaughnessy – recognised mainly as a midfielder – spent last season with United’s under-23s but has forced his way higher up Christiansen’s plans.