Gnonto returns to training after a breakthrough in his talks with the club
Tuesday, 22nd Aug 2023 21:40 by Tim Whelan
Phil Hay has broken the news that Willy Gnonto is going to return to training, and might be in considered for a return to the squad for Saturday's trip to the Championship’s top side Ipswich Town.
Gnonto has missed the last three games, but Hay reported in the Athletic this evening that talks with Angus Kinnear and Daniel Farke over the past 24 hours have led to the forward being reintegrated back into the squad. He also been moved back to the first-team dressing room having previously been shifted out of it.
It’s not clear if his formal transfer request still stands, but at least that went through the proper channels, and he is no longer refusing to play for the club. Leeds have knocked back a couple of offers from Everton and won’t be selling the player until someone meets our valuation of around £30m. Of course the cynics on social media are wondering if his change of heart is anything to do with the Goodison mob’s poor start to the season.
The firm stance taken by Leeds United has been enough to make sure that none of the other players will perform a similar stunt, and they have saved face by refusing to let him leave unless a suitable offer comes in. But we couldn’t go on indefinitely having neither the player on the field or a transfer fee we could reinvest, so makes sense to let him back into contention for a place once we could wring an apology out of him.
It remains to be seen how long it will take the fans to accept him back, after the ‘Play or Farke Off’ banner and pictures of him as a cry baby. One fan even went as far as to post some racist abuse on social media, which was rightly condemned by just about everyone and is now the subject of a police investigation.
So unless Everton up their offer (possibly involving a part exchange involving Tom Cannon) he is likely to be involved at some stage at Portman Road. And given our current injury crisis in the forward positions we will need all the help we can get away from home to a side who have won all three of their league games so far.
In the meantime we’re still waiting for Sinisterra’s situation to be resolved. Officially he hasn’t refused to play, but he is training away from the rest of the squad because he’s too distracted by the transfer speculation. But his release clause has now expired and he is now on reduced wages, so Leeds are no longer in a hurry to get him off the books.
So we’ve been able to turn down a request from Brentford to take him on loan, as there would be nothing in that for us. The Bees could have done with him on a temporary basis while Ivan Toney is banned, but Leeds have insisted that it’s a permanent deal or nothing, so we wait and see if they want to sign him permanently.
The Colombian won’t be going back to Feyenoord, as the Dutch giants have decided they can’t afford the fee Leeds are asking for. So might Sinisterra be following Willy back into the Leeds team at the end of the transfer window?
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