Leeds are keen to keep striker Mirco Antenucci

By Alex Stevens

Mirco Antenucci is set to leave Leeds at the end of the season and return to his native Italy, according to a report.

The 31-year-old striker is out of contract in the summer and has not yet opened talks with the club about an extension.

The Yorkshire Evening Post report that Serie A duo Palermo and Hellas Verona head the clubs interested in signing Antenucci, while Serie A club Parma – who were demoted to the fourth tier following bankrupty – are also keen on him.

It is said Antenucci will return to Italy during the close season two years after he left Ternana to come to England.

The forward has scored 19 league goals in 74 appearances for Leeds and is their second leading scorer with nine strikes this season from 38 matches, just 21 of which he has started.

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Once-powerful Parma are said to have already made their interest clear in Antenucci. They were forced to reform after bankruptcy a year ago but the club are back in Italy’s professional leagues after winning promotion to the country’s third division last month.

Antenucci is also reported to be on the radar of Palermo and Hellas Verona, the side who sit bottom of Serie A this season and who were heavily linked with Leeds’ Italian centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci in January.

The veteran striker will leave Leeds after the Championship club round off their season against Preston on Saturday.

In other Leeds news, Steve Evans has claimed the club’s summer signings must be on a par or better than these three current players.