SHEFFIELD UNITED: Italian disappointment as Blades finalise tour plans

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SHEFFIELD United will play Maltese Premier League opposition during their tour of the Mediterranean island next month.

Officials from Bramall Lane had been negotiating with clubs from Italy in an effort to arrange what would have been a prestigious friendly.

But with leading teams from Serie A and Serie B traditionally entering ritiro - a behind-closed-doors training camp – ahead of the new season, it proved impossible to agree a date.

Dave McCarthy, United’s managing director, said: “We have held discussions with the Maltese Football Association and they have informed us that our opposition will be confirmed as soon as possible.

“But at the moment they aren’t in a position to do so due to competitive European fixtures taking place around the same time.

“We are looking to face the strongest Maltese teams possible to ensure two good work-outs.”

McCarthy added: “We did make enquiries into facing a Serie A team and had discussions with a number of clubs but their schedules did not marry with ours in terms of preparing for next season.”

Those travelling to Malta should email to register for event details.