Deal done in weeks: Leeds senior man close to £10.5m Italy move - report
By Alex Stevens
Leeds United joint-owner Massimo Cellino is on the verge of taking over Italian club Brescia in a deal worth £10.5million, according to a report.
Italian business publication Calcio Finanza claim Cellino is set to sell his stake in Leeds and immediately buy a controlling stake in the Serie B outfit.
It is said that £4.2million could be enough to buy a majority stake in the Italian club, although there are also £6.3million of debts.
Calcio Finanza report that Cellino is willing to take on the debts to secure a 60 per cent stake at a total cost of £10.5million in the second-tier club, who are 16th in the table and set to avoid relegation with two matches of the season remaining.
The Elland Road joint owner could become the new president of Brescia in the “coming weeks” after tabling an initial offer to the current directors, who are willing to sell.
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Cellino has been strongly linked with buying the Sere B outfit this season despite official denials.
His reported interest in Brescia comes at a time when he is set to step aside at Leeds to make way for a full takeover by co-owner Andrea Radrizzani.
At the weekend, manager Garry Monk became the first Leeds figure to publicly confirm that Radrizzani would soon be in sole control of the Championship club.
Monk explained in the aftermath of the club’s final Championship match of the season on Sunday – a 1-1 draw at Wigan – that Radrizzani’s buy-out of Cellino is “imminent”.
The Sun claimed last week that the two Italians had agreed a multi-million pound deal which will enable Radrizzani to take full control at Elland Road.
The sports media rights tycoon has taken advantage of an option inserted into the December deal in which he bought a half-share of Leeds that allowed him to complete a full buy-out at a set price before June if promotion was not secured.
Monk’s team lost out on place in the play-offs after a wretched run of results meant an uplifting campaign ended with a seventh-place finish.
In other Leeds United transfer news, it can be exclusively revealed that the club registered a new signing last month.