Leeds owner Cellino in advanced talks to seal big-money deal - report
By Alex Stevens
Leeds owner Massimo Cellino is in advanced talks to buy Serie B club Brescia, according to a report.
Italian publication La Nuova Sardegna claim Italian Cellino is “very close” to securing a deal to purchase the second-tier club.
It is said that there could be “white smoke” within the next week, to indicate that an announcement about what would be a big-money deal is imminent.
Intriguingly, the report from Cellino’s native Sardinia comes 24 hours after Italian outfit Brescia announced on their official website they were not in takeover talks.
The club took the unusual step of specifically rebuffing rumours that the the controversial joint Leeds owner was about to invest in the club in his native Italy.
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The statement read that the 16th placed side in Serie B are “not in negotiations, and, in particular, there is no contact, direct or indirect, with Dr Massimo Cellino”.
This came after widespread reports in recent monthsthat the 60-year-old businessman wanted to take control over an Italian club for a second time following his lengthy spell at Cagliari.
Italian site Calcio Mercato claimed in November that Cellino wants to return to his native Italy and become a shareholder in the Serie B club.
Former Cagliari owner Cellino bought Leeds in January 2014, and has sacked six managers during his erratic two and a half year tenure.
Italian sports media mogul Andrea Radrizzani bought a 50 per cent stake in the Yorkshire giants in late December to join Cellino at the helm.
Leeds are gunning for promotion back to the Premier League following a transformation in fortunes under manager Garry Monk.
The team who finished 13th last season are fourth in the Championship with 12 matches remaining and are in an excellent position to clinch a play-off finish.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club are to pounce and re-sign a 23-year-old after a £10million transfer is all but sealed.