By Alex Stevens
Billionaire Andrea Radrizzani has dropped a major hint that he is close to taking over Leeds.
The Italian businessman, who has been strongly linked with buying the Yorkshire giants from current owner Massimo Cellino, liked a Twitter message on Thursday night from a Leeds fan that celebrated the possibility he was “about to take over the greatest team in the world”.
Radrizzani subsequently deleted the message on his personal Twitter account but it suggested that talks are at an advanced stage.
This comes after Italian site Calcio Mercato claimed on Wednesday that Cellino wants to return to his native Italy and become a shareholder in Serie B club Brescia.
It is said that Cellino’s interest in buying a stake in Brescia will heighten speculation that his departure from the Championship club is imminent.
Moreover, the Sun claimed last week that the proposed sale of the Yorkshire giants to sports mogul Radrizzani could be completed within the next few weeks.
Cellino has been photographed with Radrizzani this season as speculation grows that the tycoon could buy a stake in the Yorkshire giants.
It had been reported that by the Yorkshire Evening Post that there has been a fall-out between the two Italians to pour cold water on the possibility of a takeover.
But BBC Sport editor Dan Roan claimed on his personal Twitter account last month in an exchange with a Leeds supporter and a fellow journalist that the apparent disagreement was “merely a bump” and that talks were still ongoing between the parties.
Radrizzani was pictured with Cellino at two matches in August, a pre-season friendly win over Atalanta and a Championship opening-day defeat to QPR.
The Italian, who owns a sports broadcasting company called MP & Silva that in May was valued at £685million by Reuters, subsequently claimed the talks produced “nothing concrete” and involved a “simple conversation” to increase his understanding of the club.
Former Cagliari owner Cellino bought the Yorkshire club in January 2014, and has sacked six managers during his controversial two and a half year tenure.
The Italian has been embroiled in a number of scandals that have left him close to dismissal by the Football League, including almost being disqualified over an issue regarding tax legislation which was later overturned in May 2016.
In other Leeds news, the club are closing in on a £3.6million January signing.