Manchester United hit with suspected first-team coronavirus outbreak ahead of Leeds United Premier League opener

Leeds United's arch rivals Manchester United have been hit with a suspected coronavirus outbreak in the first-team squad ahead of their Premier League opener against the Whites.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 10:56 am
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 10:58 am

The Red Devils were due to take in their fourth of five pre-season friendlies this weekend with a clash against Preston North End at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon.

But routine lateral flow testing for Covid on Thursday saw some possible positive cases returned and Old Gunnar Solskjaer's side consequently took the decision to call the friendly off.

Those who tested positive are now isolating, pending further PCR tests.

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DISRUPTION: For Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, above, ahead of his side's Premier League opener against Leeds United. Photo by KACPER PEMPEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

The Red Devils have just one remaining friendly ahead of the Premier League opener against Marcelo Bielsa's Whites at Old Trafford in a lunch time kick-off on Saturday, August 14.

Solskjaer's side face Everton in what will now be their final warm-up game next Saturday at Old Trafford.

A statement released by the Red Devils on Thursday read: "Maintaining COVID security is a priority for Manchester United.

"Following routine testing of the first-team training group today (Thursday), we have identified a small number of suspected positive cases.

"This has led to those people isolating, pending further tests.

"As a precautionary measure based on COVID protocols, we have taken the difficult decision that we will not now be able to play the friendly match against Preston North End this Saturday (31 July).

"We regret the disruption to Preston North End and disappointment caused to fans.

"Any Manchester United supporters who have purchased tickets for the game will be automatically refunded.

"At this stage, we do not expect further disruption around our forthcoming matches, but we will continue to follow Premier League protocols in this regard."

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Thank you Laura Collins