Cellino rules out move for Becchio and looks to Cani
Wednesday, 14th Jan 2015 18:29 by Tim Whelan
Last week Neil Redfearn seemed keen to sign Lucciano Becchio and the Argentinian announced he’d love to return to Elland Road, but their bromance has been nipped in the bud by Cellino. It’s no surprise that we’re now looking to Italy for a striker instead.
Cellino told The Sun "We love Becchio and made a big mistake when letting him go, but now it's too late. He's not the same player he was three years ago and Leeds is not the same club. He is the past and we are concerned about the future."
Cellino’s first choice striker was Leonardo Pavoletti, who is currently at Serie A club Sassuolo, but the Yorkshire Post are reporting that the restrictions placed on Leeds by the current transfer embargo will mean that we will be unlikely to able to meet his wage demands. Pavoletti has other options, with Serie A clubs Udinese and Torino among thos chasing him, so it’s unlikely he will choose to move to a club struggling in England’s second tier.
So Il Presidente is now chasing Edgar Cani, an Albania international who plays for Catania in Italy's Serie B. At 6’4” Cani will be the kind of target man we haven’t had since Matt Smith’s departure and could be useful if Redfearn wants to continue with the 4-5-1 formation he used at Bolton, but the 25 year-old’s scoring record isn’t exactly prolific.
He has spent most of his career in Italy, where he has turned out for no fewer than 9 different clubs, though he did have an 18 month spell in Poland with Polonia Warsaw. He scored 13 goals in 34 games for them, but then fell out with just about everyone at the club, including the coach, the owner and his team mates!
He sounds like a bit of a journeyman and a hothead (perhaps like Cantona but without the ability), so if he does come to Leeds we’ll just have to hope he’s good enough for the Championship. And it’s on the cards we will be signing him, as Cellino is reported to be in ‘advanced discussions’ with the player.
Cellino is also looking to strengthen the midfield and has made enquiries about Palermo’s Granddi NGoyi and Fiorentina’s Josip Ilicic. Ilicic is another player who has also attracted attention from other Italian clubs, but Leeds are reported to be ‘in talks’ with NGoyi’s agent, so it looks more likely that we’ll end up with him.
Cellino finished his Sun interview by giving Redfearn a vote of confidence, even though he over-ruled him on the Becchio transfer. "I love Neil and think he is doing his best," Cellino said. "He is not experienced and needs to make mistakes to learn. We are building a new culture, a new history and trying to help the players go in a better way. Neill is the best coach we could have at the moment."
Photo: Action Images
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