View from Italy: Report details how close Cellino is to selling Leeds after development

By Alex Stevens

Massimo Cellino’s sale of Leeds will still take some time despite Italian media reporting the deal is close, according to an Italian journalist.

Emmanuele Giulianelli believes that Cellino is keen to sell the club but Leeds fans might still have to wait before an agreement is struck.

Italian site Calcio Mercato claimed on Wednesday Elland Road owner Cellino wants to return to his native Italy and become a shareholder in Serie B club Brescia.

It is said that Cellino’s interest in buying a stake in Brescia will heighten speculation that his departure from the Championship club is imminent.

It has been widely reported that Leeds are in takeover talks with Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani.

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The Sun claimed last week that the proposed sale of the Yorkshire giants to the sports mogul could be completed within the next few weeks.

“Cellino wants to sell the club because he is tired of the attitude of the Football League and feels he is being persecuted, “Giulianelli told the Proper Sport podcast. “The good thing about English football is you can sell a club in a good way and he wants to make much money from the sale, so he will wait for a good offer.

“Italian rumours says Andrea Radrizzani is interested, but it is not a deal that can be concluded in these next days.

“Cellino has another project in mind, and from what I know, it is true. He is interested in coming back to Italian football and buying Brescia in Serie B.

“So there are two separate deals. There may be a sale of Leeds but not in a short time.”

Cellino has been photographed with Radrizzani this season as speculation grows that the tycoon could buy a stake in the Yorkshire giants.

It had been reported that by the Yorkshire Evening Post that there has been a fall-out between the two Italians to pour cold water on the possibility of a takeover.

But BBC Sport editor Dan Roan claimed on his personal Twitter account last month in an exchange with a Leeds supporter and a fellow journalist that the apparent disagreement was “merely a bump” and that talks were still ongoing between the parties.

Radrizzani was pictured with Cellino at two matches in August, a pre-season friendly win over Atalanta and a Championship opening-day defeat to QPR.

The Italian, who owns a sports broadcasting company called MP & Silva that in May was valued at £685million by Reuters, subsequently claimed the talks produced “nothing concrete” and involved a “simple conversation” to increase his understanding of the club.

Former Cagliari owner Cellino bought the Yorkshire club in January 2014, and has sacked six managers during his controversial two and a half year tenure.

The Italian has been embroiled in a number of scandals that have left him close to dismissal by the Football League, including almost being disqualified over an issue regarding tax legislation which was later overturned in May 2016.

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