By Wayne Veysey

6th Dec, 2016 | 2:15pm

Leeds 27-year-old frozen out by Monk after bad apple perception - report

By Alex Stevens

Giuseppe Bellusci was frozen out by Garry Monk because the manager was clear he did not want the defender at the training ground, according to a report.

The Yorkshire Evening Post claim that Monk was clear when he was installed at Elland Road in the summer that the temperamental Italian defender “had to leave”.

It is said that Bellusci has “for so long [been] perceived as a bad apple at [training base] Thorp Arch” and the former Swansea manager did not want the atmosphere among the players to be negatively affected.

The result was that Bellusci, who is contracted to Leeds until the summer of 2018, returned to his native Italy to join Serie A side Empoli on a season-long loan.

The centre-back, 27, has been a mainstay of the team for the 17th place team, making 13 appearances in Serie A alone, totalling 1,170 minutes.

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Bellusci spent two years at Leeds and made 61 appearances for the first team that were marked by controversy and poor performances.

It has been reported that his loan deal with Empoli includes an option for the Tuscan side to sign the former Catania defender permanently.

Monk signed two new centre-backs in the summer, with Pontus Jansson joining on a season-long loan from Torino and Kyle Bartley signing from Swansea on a similar length deal.

The duo have formed an outstanding partnership at the back that has been the bedrock of the team’s rise to fourth in the Championship table.

In other Leeds news, the club are closing in on a £3.6million January signing.