Sheffield United: Pre-season opponents face battle to keep players

Real Betis, who will face Sheffield United in a pre-season friendly next month, are facing a battle to retain two of their leading players ahead of the new La Liga season.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 1:15 pm
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 11:47 pm
The Vitality Stadium, where Sheffield United will begin their Premier League campaign: Mark Kerton/PA Wire.

Argentine Giovani Lo Celso and William Carvalho, the Argentine's fellow midfielder, have both attracted attention from Premier League clubs after impressing at the Estadio Benito Villamarín last term.

Lo Celso is a target for Tottenham Hotspur, where his compatriot Mauricio Pochettino is manager. Carvalho, capped over 50 times by Portugal, has reportedly been the subject of an approach from West Ham.

Despite privately confirming they would meet United several weeks ago, Betis waited until their new manager Joan Francesc Ferrer Sicilia had settled into his position before agreeing the fixture could be publicly revealed.

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Real Betis fans are expected to travel in their numbers: Simon Galloway/PA Wire.

The match, which takes place at the Estádio Algarve near Faro on July 12, is likely to be his first appearance on the touchline since leaving Espanyol.

United, who were promoted from the Championship last term, are also scheduled to face Burton Albion, Northampton Town, Chesterfield and Barnsley before August's top-flight opener against AFC Bournemouth.

With their trip to Oakwell taking place a fortnight earlier, it is understood Wilder's employers could also sandwich a home game in between that appearance and their trip to the Vitality Stadium.

Real Betis face Sheffield United next month: Simon Galloway/PA Wire.