Leeds United: Monk confident defensive pair will be back soon

Gaetano Berardi.
Gaetano Berardi.
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Garry Monk says he is optimisic that neither Liam Cooper nor Gaetano Berardi are facing long stints on the sidelines, despite both players sitting out parts of Leeds United’s tour of Ireland.

Monk expects Cooper and Berardi to be passed fit in “days rather than weeks or months” having ruled them out of the first two friendlies of the summer.

The defenders – both influential members of United’s squad – travelled to Dublin with Monk’s players as planned but Cooper was ruled out in the early stages of the tour and a problem sustained by Berardi forced the Swiss right-back to miss United’s 2-1 win over Shelbourne and their 3-0 victory at Shamrock Rovers.

Leeds are attempting to strengthen in both of their positions, with a new right-back and a new centre-back on their wishlist, and the club approached Fleetwood Town about the availablity of Northern Ireland full-back Conor McLaughlin over the weekend.

That deal has not progressed, however, and McLaughlin played for Fleetwood in a friendly in Holland yesterday.

Monk and United are continuing to asses their options but Monk is hopeful that Cooper and Berardi will soon be passed fit with friendlies against Guiseley and Peterborough United awaiting Leeds later this week.

“Hopefully it’s not too long,” Monk said.

“We’ve had checks so hopefully we’re talking days rather than weeks or months.”