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Preston game cancelled after COVID outbreak

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Manchester United have been forced to cancel their pre-season friendly with Preston after a number of their first-team group tested positive for coronavirus.

United had been scheduled to face the Championship outfit on Saturday as part of their preparations for the Premier League season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men kicking off their campaign in little more than two weeks’ time against Leeds.

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However, the club have now taken to their official website to confirm a small coronavirus outbreak in the first-team squad has caused them to cancel the trip to Deepdale – though they’ve yet to reveal which players have been impacted.

“Maintaining COVID security is a priority for Manchester United,” the statement read. “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.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side's trip to Deepdale has been cancelled

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s trip to Deepdale has been cancelled / James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

While the club don’t expect any further amendments to their pre-season schedule, the cancellation of Saturday’s game will come as a blow to Solskjaer’s side with only one warm-up game to go before the start of their Premier League season.

The Red Devils are due to face Everton at Old Trafford on 7 August, and everyone connected with the club will be hoping their clash with Toffees can go ahead as planned so to avoid any further disruption.

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