Manchester United have called off Saturday’s friendly at Preston after a ‘small number’ of the first-team training group tested positive for Covid on Thursday.
United drew 2-2 with Brentford at Old Trafford on Wednesday night and the squad underwent lateral flow tests on Thursday, when a number of positives were returned. Those affected are now isolating as they await confirmation from PCR tests.
It is understood first-team players and staff have returned positive tests, forcing United to call off the friendly against Preston at Deepdale that was due to be played on Saturday afternoon.
A United statement said: “Maintaining Covid security is a priority for us. Following routine testing of the first team training group today, 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.
“We regret the disruption to Preston and disappointment caused to fans. Any Manchester United fans 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.”
United were due to play five pre-season friendlies this summer and have already faced Derby, Queens Park Rangers and Brentford. The postponement of Saturday’s game means their final friendly will be against Old Trafford at Everton on Saturday, August 7.
The Premier League season kicks off a week later against Leeds United on August 14.
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