By Abigail Withey
Leeds defender Giuseppe Bellusci has returned for pre-season training after failing to secure a deal with an Italian club, according to a report.
The Yorkshire Evening Post has revealed that the 27-year-old remained in Italy last week while the rest of the squad returned for pre-season training, but flew back to the UK over the weekend to join his team mates at the Thorp Arch training centre on Monday.
The newspaper claim that Bellusci returned for training after a deal with a Serie A club failed to materialise.
This report comes just days after the same newspaper stated that Italian top-flight trio Bologna, Cagliari and Benevento were all interested in signing the no-nonsense defender.
However, it appears as though the Italian centre-back will remain at Elland Road as he enters the final 12 months of his contract with the Whites.
Bellusci joined Leeds from Catania back in 2014 for a fee of £2.6million, but has since become surplus to the club’s requirements.
Last season, former Leeds boss Garry Monk loaned the unpredictable defender to Italian club FC Empoli and the club hoped it would secure a move for the 27-year-old.
The Italian made 33 appearance for the then-Serie A outfit, but his efforts weren’t enough to stop the side being relegated.
It is thought that following the signing of centre-back Pontus Janssen, the former Catania player would slip even further down in Thomas Christiansen’s pecking order.
Football Insider verdict
Leeds should try their best efforts to offload Bellusci this summer. His heart clearly lies back in his homeland of Italy, and if he were to stay he would simply be dead wood. Christiansen cannot rely on Bellusci because of his poor discipline, and instead must look for a stronger backline partner for new signing Pontus Janssen. A great centre-back to bring in would be Filip Helander, as he is already familiar with Janssen owing to their partnership during international duties for Sweden. The pair would provide stability for the club’s defence and help to guide the squad to the promotion and the chance of playing in the Premier League.
In other Leeds transfer news, a Premier League giant has reportedly discussed a move for this Whites star.