Leeds United manager Daniel Farke has confirmed that forwards Luis Sinisterra and Wilfried Gnonto will not be available for his side’s Friday night clash with West Bromwich Albion at Elland Road.
The availability of both players was always going to be a key topic for Farke to address this afternoon given the amount of speculation surrounding their respective futures.
Gnonto is reportedly keen on a move to Premier League side Everton, with Leeds refusing to sell. As a result the 19-year-old has refused to participate in either of the Whites’ last two competitive fixtures, and appears to have burnt his bridges with both the Elland Road fanbase and Farke after being made to train alone at the club’s training facility Thorp Arch this week.
Sinisterra, meanwhile, did not feature in Farke’s squad for their defeat away to Birmingham City over the weekend, but did make a brief substitute appearance towards the end of Leeds’ victory over Shrewsbury in the EFL Cup last week.
When asked about the current situation of the pair during his pre-match press conference this afternoon Farke confirmed that they were unavailable for selection against the Baggies, and have been moved out of the dressing room for “different reasons”.
“There are many questions and it would take too long to speak at length. With Willy we’ve spoken at length and what I think is important to say is that Helder Costa, Willy Gnonto and Luis Sinisterra are training separate from the group. They have individual training in order to stay fit.
“They’ve been moved out of the dressing room for different reason’s we’ve spoken at length about the situation with Willy. With Helder Costa everything is more relaxed. It’s his and our wish that there will be a solution and it’s professional. With Luis Sinisterra it’s a different situation.
“There is no exit clause and we’ve made it clear that we won’t sell Willy. With Luis it’s different, he has an exit clause and there were some open question marks. Until everything is sorted from a legal point of view, he won’t train with the group as he can’t focus on training. It seems it’ll be sorted quickly. All these three players were training separately.”
Farke also confirmed that defender Leo Hjelde will miss Friday’s contest after a concussion sustained in training yesterday, but that centre-back Joe Rodon, midfielder Sam Greenwood and forward Georginio Rutter are all fit.
“Sam Greenwood was back in training and was able to train the whole week. Also Georginio Rutter and Joe Rodon had proper training weeks, so they are also in the mix to be selected for the team. Some good news, but still a bit of a tricky week, but I hope and think and I’m also quite convinced that next week our situation will look much better.
“So it’s a bit tricky for the game on Friday, but we will have a competitive side and we will also fight for the points on Friday.”
Farke will hope to put issues off the pitch aside when his side welcome West Brom to Elland Road on Friday in search of their first league win of the season.