By Alex Stevens
Empoli are in talks to sign Giuseppe Bellusci from Leeds, according to a report.
The defender is thought to be keen on a move away from Elland Road this summer after falling out of favour with former manager Steve Evans and not getting a single minute in the final four games of the season.
Italian website Pianeta Empoli claim Empoli have already approached Bellusci’s representatives to sound him out about a move this summer and are set to begin negotiations with Leeds over a deal.
It is said the Yorkshire giants value Bellusci at over £1.6million and will not allow him to leave for less than that fee.
Before being frozen out at the end of the campaign, Bellusci had made 31 appearances for Leeds this season in all competitions.
Bellusci initially joined Leeds on loan from Italian club Catania, before earning a permanent deal and still has two years left to run on the four-year contract he signed in 2014.
The 26-year-old is reportedly being eyed as a replacement for Empoli’s Lorenzo Tonelli, who the club recently sold to Napoli.
Empoli finished tenth in Serie A and are believed to be eager to make a move for Bellusci as soon as possible after they made him their top target.
Although Bellusci may be keen on a return to his homeland, any transfer could be delayed by new Leeds manager Garry Monk.
Leeds’ players have yet to return from their summer holidays for pre-season and there is a possibility Monk would prefer to have a look at Bellusci before deciding whether to offload him.