By Alex Stevens
Massimo Cellino has ended his controversial reign at Leeds United, according to Twitter rumours.
Reports at the weekend claimed joint-owner Andrea Radrizzani was preparing to buy out Cellino’s half share of the Championship club.
It has been speculated that the deal that enabled Radrizzani to buy into Leeds in December includes an option for the media rights tycoon to take total control by the end of June.
Speculation intensified on social media on Monday night that Cellino’s half-share has now been bought out to end the former sole owner’s tenure at the club and the paperwork has even been signed.
There has been no official confirmation but the nature and number of messages suggests the rumours are well sourced.
It would represent a seismic change at the top of the club given how the erratic Cellino has ruled with an iron fit since buying a majority stake in Leeds in January 2014.
Many Leeds supporters are desperately hoping that rumours the 60-year-old Italian has gone are correct.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
— paul warrick (LUFC) (@paulwarrick3) May 2, 2017
— Rob LUFC Blogger (@RobofLeeds) May 2, 2017
Up & ready for work to see rumours Cellino has gone? Now that would be one heck of a start to my morning #lufc
— Macca (@bigmacca199) May 3, 2017
— Liam Pháidí Joe (@ismiseliam) May 2, 2017
— Joshua Ryan (@joshyryan87) May 2, 2017
— Rob Dixon (@Reality_Rob) May 2, 2017
Now Cellino’s gone, please lets stop this divide in the fanbase. We have a new owner to get behind and support now. Future looks good #lufc
— Max (@Max_LUFC) May 2, 2017
— Jerry Ing (@Jinks888) May 2, 2017
Has Cellino gone? If so here ends one of the most controversial owners ever seen. On to the future now hopefully all united behind AR #lufc
— Dirty Filthy Leeds (@VileAndProud) May 3, 2017
Cellino’s tenure has been riven by controversy, court cases and run-ins with the football authorities.
Nevertheless, he appointed Garry Monk last summer and the team’s fortunes were transformed as they challenged strongly for promotion before falling at the final hurdle last weekend to ensure they will finish the season in seventh.
In other Leeds United news, the deal is all but done for the club to complete the transfer of an experienced Premier League man from West Ham.