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Showing posts from July, 2014

Leeds United: Viviani agents set for last-ditch talks

Yorkshire Evening Post 27/7/14 by Phil Hay Federico Viviani’s advisors will hold a last round of talks with Leeds United tomorrow in an attempt to salvage his move to Elland Road. Representatives of the Roma midfielder plan to speak to the Championship club again in the next 24 hours, despite United owner Massimo Cellino calling off the transfer over the weekend. Cellino told the YEP that Viviani was “out” after three days of discussions in Leeds last week failed to secure an agreement over his season-long loan from Serie A. The 22-year-old flew home to Rome yesterday believing a transfer to Elland Road was still a possibility, with Nicola Salerno - Cellino’s right-hand man - promising to continue negotiations tomorrow. Viviani’s camp indicated that the Italy Under-21 international wanted to use the weekend to make a final decision over his future with a number of Italian clubs interested in signing him, but Cellino said: “I’ve already decided. He is out.” Giovanni Ferro, one of

Leeds United: Viviani deal off, says Cellino

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/7/14 by Phil Hay Federico Viviani’s transfer to Leeds United appears to be dead after club owner Massimo Cellino said he was abandoning the midfielder’s loan move from Roma. Viviani’s advisors expected talks with Leeds to resume on Monday after three days of discussions this week, but Cellino said: “I’ve already decided. He is out.” United had arranged a deal to take Viviani on a season-long loan and he came to England from Italy on Tuesday to seal the transfer. But negotiations in the past 72 hours failed to force an agreement and Viviani and his camp were due to fly back to Rome today. His agent was quoted by Italian media as saying that Viviani would take the weekend to reach a final decision on his options with Serie A sides also interested in signing him but denied that the player would be speaking to any other clubs. Cellino, who has been abroad all week, spoke with confidence about the proposed deal on Thursday, saying “I think we’ll be fine”, bu

Leeds United: Viviani move in fresh doubt

Yorkshire Evening Post 25/7/14 by Phil Hay Federico Viviani’s proposed transfer to Leeds United is mired in confusion tonight with the midfielder and his advisors preparing to fly back to Rome with no agreement reached. Viviani’s camp have arranged to return to Italy from England tomorrow following a week of protracted and unsuccessful negotiations over the 22-year-old’s loan to Elland Road. A season-long move from Serie A club Roma appeared to be a formality on Tuesday after Viviani travelled to Leeds and attended United’s pre-season friendly at Mansfield Town. But discussions in the past 72 hours have failed to push the deal over the line, despite Roma’s apparent willingness to send the Italy Under-21 international to the Championship for the whole of the 2014-15 season. Neither Viviani’s agent nor Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, who has been abroad all week, have commented on the reasons behind the impasse, though the midfielder’s advisors are known to have been concerned about t

Leeds striker Walters may need surgery after Mansfield injury

Yorkshire Post 25/7/14 Lewis Walters’ prospects of a first-team breakthrough at Leeds United have been hampered by the news that the striker could require surgery on a knee injury. Walters is to undergo examinations by a specialist consultant as Leeds wait to learn if the damaged cartilage he suffered in their friendly at Mansfield Town will force the club to send him for an operation. The 19-year-old academy product limped out of Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at Field Mill after injuring himself off the ball. Walters attempted to play on but was substituted minutes later when he collapsed in more pain inside Mansfield’s box after heading a half-chance wide. Head coach David Hockaday predicted immediately after full-time that the forward would be missing for “a few weeks at least” and initial assessments of the injury have raised the possibility of Walters going under the knife. “It’s quite serious, or potentially quite serious,” Hockaday said. “It’s damage to the cartilage and I th

Leeds trying to push Viviani deal over the line

Vital Leeds 23/7/14 Leeds United have reportedly hit a snag in their attempts to sign Roma midfielder Federico Viviani. Viviani and his representatives were present on Tuesday night as Leeds lost their pre-season game at Mansfield 2-0 and it is believed they were not impressed with what they saw. Leeds sporting director Nicola Salerno met with Viviani and his representatives today as they looked to seal a season long loan with a view to a permanent deal and the two parties had different opinions on how the deal was progressing. Salerno told la bottega del calciofilo A number of Italian clubs also wants the 22-year-old Italian under-21 international and Leeds are hoping they can tie up the deal when they meet again this evening. It is believed that owner Massimo Cellino is now talking with the representatives despite being away.

Mansfield Town 2 Leeds United 0: Poor errors cost us - Hockaday

Yorkshire Evening Post 23/7/14 by Phil Hay David Hockaday blamed individual errors and insisted Leeds United were showing definite signs of improvement, despite a 2-0 defeat to Mansfield Town last night. Leeds suffered their first loss of pre-season after a brace from Mansfield’s Liam Hearn in the final 20 minutes took advantage of bad mistakes from Steve Morison and Zac Thompson. Hearn struck from the penalty spot in the 70th minute after Morison’s mis-hit back-pass forced goalkeeper Marco Silvestri to bring down one of Mansfield’s four trialists, and he scored again in the closing stages after Thompson lost his footing as he chased a through ball. The loss to a League Two side came less than three weeks before the start of the new Championship season and United’s first league game away to Millwall. A number of new signings are likely to arrive at Elland Road before then, however, and midfielder Federico Viviani, who watched the match at Field Mill yesterday, is expected to comple

Mansfield Town 2 Leeds United 0 - Whites handed an early wake-up call

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/7/14 When David Hockaday says that nothing in his planning for Leeds United’s season is “etched in stone”, he genuinely means it. The club’s head coach is working on shifting sands at Elland Road, waiting for the ground around him to settle. Leeds are three games into their pre-season programme but still in the realms of fitness exercises and yet to fully break the back of the transfer market. Hockaday’s tactics and formations, like those used in a fairly painful friendly at Mansfield Town last night, are being used in the knowledge that five or six more players could join his squad before the football matters. One of those, Federico Viviani, is in the final throes of agreeing a season-long loan from Roma and should officially join United later today. The 22-year-old travelled to Field Mill yesterday with his transfer pending, a spectator at a game which was never a spectacle, and the list of other potential signings continues to evolve too – Andy Delort, a

Two-Year Contract at Leeds United for Nicola Salerno

Inside Futbol 22/7/14 Leeds United have handed Nicola Salerno a two-year contract at the club, formalising the role he has already been playing for the Elland Road outfit. Salerno served as sporting director at Cagliari under current Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, but departed when Cellino sold the Serie A side earlier this summer. He rejected an offer to head across Sardinia to Palermo and opted to join Cellino at Leeds, helping the president identify and sign players from the Italian market for his new club. According to Italian outlet Tutto Mercato, Salerno has penned a two-year contract at Elland Road, with the formal announcement set to be made in the near future. Salerno has played a key role in guiding Leeds' transfer policy this summer. It is a policy which has already seen goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, right-back Gaetano Berardi, midfielder Tommaso Bianchi and striker Souleymane Doukaka land at the club. They are set to be joined by Roma midfielder Federico Viviani.

Leeds battle with Chievo for former Italy international defender Alessandro Gamberini

Express 22/7/14 LEEDS are planning an ambitious swoop for Napoli defender Alessandro Gamberini but face competition from Serie A side Chievo Verona. By: Alex Harris According to reports in Italy, Napoli boss Rafa Benitez is willing to sell Gamberini who has eight caps for his country. The 32-year-old spent part of last season on loan at Genoa and news of Benitez's desire to sell has alerted United. Gamberini has plenty of experience having made nearly 200 appearances for Serie A giants Fiorentina and he was part of Italy's Euro 2008 squad. United have signed a number of Italian's and players from the country's football leagues since Massimo Cellino took charge such as keeper Marco Silvestri and midfielder Tommaso Bianchi, The club are also set to seal a deal for Roma midfielder Federico Viviani. Dave Hockaday's side are also interested in Serie B outfit Siena's Italian defender Fabrizio Grillo. The 27-year-old left-back spent last season on loan at Vares

Leeds United opens talks with Roma midfielder Viviani

Yorkshire Evening Post 21/7/14 by Phil Hay Leeds United have opened talks with Federico Viviani after negotiating a deal to sign the midfielder from Roma. United are attempting to agree personal terms with Viviani and make the 22-year-old their sixth signing of the summer. Finalising the details of Viviani’s contract appears to be the only remaining obstacle to a transfer after Roma granted him permission to speak to United. The former Italy Under-21 international has interest from other clubs in his homeland but is on the verge of a move to Elland Road this afternoon. Sources close to the player indicated last week that any move to Leeds was likely to be on loan with a view to a permanent deal but Roma have been open to the option of selling Viviani. Leeds took their tally of new signings to five on Friday by landing right-back Gaetano Berardi on a two-year deal from Sampdoria.

Big time beckons at Leeds for teenager Lewis Cook

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Yorkshire Post 21/7/14 TEENAGER Lewis Cook marked himself out as Leeds United’s next academy success story as coach David Hockaday hinted that the 17-year-old will be in the thick of the forthcoming season. Cook caught the eye with a consummate display in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Guiseley, leading Hockaday to admit that he is ready to blood the midfielder and other United youngsters when the Championship season starts next month. Hockaday fielded Cook in his starting line-up at Nethermoor and the England youth international produced the pick of the performances in a tight and competitive pre-season friendly. Cook’s reputation has grown in the past six months on account of his involvement in the England squad who won the European Under-17 Championship in May, and he was taken on United’s tour of Italy earlier this month. He was one of three young professionals used by Hockaday at Nethermoor, with centre-back Ross Killock completing an hour and striker Lewis Walters featuring for the f

Guiseley 0 Leeds United 2: Hockaday happy with friendly victory

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Yorkshire Evening Post 21/7/14 by Phil Hay The value for money at Nethermoor was in the seats beside Massimo Cellino. For 60 minutes in intimate surroundings, Leeds United’s owner gave a riotous running commentary to the sound of hysterical laughter and the smell of cigarette smoke. Even Cellino’s animation ran out of steam as a stereotypical friendly between Leeds and Guiseley ground towards full-time but he was roused before the end by goals from Jason Pearce and Matt Smith. This was not football as he dreams of it but pre-season rarely is – and few owners of United go looking for it at a non-league ground in West Yorkshire. His predecessors were not inclined to attend matches with such a low profile. At stages of last season it seemed hard enough dragging representatives of Gulf Finance House to games of much greater importance. As he rocked and rolled at the back of Nethermoor’s main stand, you wondered how Cellino’s heart would put up with 46 league fixtures a season and al

Leeds to meet with highly rated French striker

Vital Leeds 20/7/14 Leeds United are amongst the clubs chasing striker Andy Delort from French Ligue 2 side Tours. Delort was the joint leading goalscorer in Ligue 2 last season with 24 goals in 36 games and la Nouvelle Republique (English translation) report that Delort is set to meet with Leeds in the next few days. Spanish side Atletico Madrid are currently leading the chase to sign Delort with English Premier League side Southampton amongst a number of other clubs also reportedly showing an interest in the 22-year-old. Leeds are keen to bring in a striker after the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham earlier this month.

Lewis Cook stars in Leeds United win

Club Call 20/7/14 Three of Leeds' summer signings started against Guiseley, but it was youngster Lewis Cook who starred in a 2-0 victory. The England Under-17 international pulled the strings in the Whites' midfield as coach Dave Hockaday played two line-ups - the first XI playing an hour. Marco Silvestri, Souleymane Doukara and Tommaso Bianchi were also involved from the off, while goalkeeper Stuart Taylor came on for the last 30 minutes. Jason Pearce headed home Aidy White's corner to put Leeds in front with just four minutes remaining before Matt Smith wrapped up the victory.

Leeds miss out on Swedish international Robin Quaison

Vital Leeds 20/7/14 Leeds United have missed out on Swedish international Robin Quaison after he joined Italian Serie A side Palermo. The 20-year-old midfielder chose newly promoted Palermo after being recommended by new Leeds sporting director Nicola Salerno before his arrival at Elland Road. Salerno was then keen to bring Quaison to Leeds but he has missed out after he signed a three-year deal with Palermo. Quaison has made his name with Swedish side AIK and his form saw him called up by the Swedish national side, scoring two goals in four appearances. Leeds were amongst a number of clubs to miss out on Quaison with Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam and Premier League Queens Park Rangers amongst the other clubs interested.

Young striker Robbie McDaid hits Leeds United hat-trick in rout

Vital Leeds 20/7/14 Young striker Robbie McDaid started his Leeds career off with a hat-trick as Leeds under-18`s beat York City 8-0 on Saturday. McDaid signed for Leeds from Northern Ireland side Glenavon in the second half of last season. The 17-year-old striker stayed with Glenavon for the remainder of the season before joining up with Leeds at the start of pre-season. McDaid has made ten senior career appearances already despite his tender age and he made a name for himself with Glenavon last season when he came off the bench with twenty minutes remaining to score twice in the 4-2 local derby win against Portadown. His form brought him to the attention of Leeds, earning him a successful trial with the club, he has also represented his country at under-19 level in the past year, and he has started his Leeds career off with a bang thanks to his hat-trick at York. The game also saw exciting young Zimbabwean Munyaradzi Mbanje score a hat-trick as the Leeds side, which contained a

Match report: Guiseley 0 Leeds United 2

Yorkshire Evening Post 19/7/14 by Phil Hay An animated Massimo Cellino watched from the stands as Leeds United claimed a 2-0 win over non-league Guiseley at Nethermoor. United’s Italian owner joined a crowd of 2,200 for a tight and even contest which played out in wet and humid conditions and was settled by late goals from Jason Pearce and Matt Smith. Cellino had taken his players and staff out for lunch in Leeds prior to their first domestic friendly of the summer and Pearce and Smith delivered a victory in return after a long spell in which Guiseley frustrated United. Head coach David Hockaday stretched the legs of his starting line-up by playing them for an hour, using new signings Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi and Souleymane Doukara from the outset. Gaetano Berardi’s move from Sampdoria yesterday evening was processed too late for the Swiss right-back to play but he travelled with the squad to Nethermoor and could make his debut at Mansfield Town on Tuesday, the first of U

Leeds Have Ended Giuseppe Bellusci Talks Reveals Nicola Salerno

Inside Futbol 19/7/14 Leeds United deal-maker Nicola Salerno has revealed that the Elland Road outfit have pulled out of the race to sign Catania defender Giuseppe Bellusci due to financial reasons. The Championship side have been keen to snap up Bellusci from Catania, who were relegated from Serie A last season, but have struggled to push a deal over the line. And now Salerno, who worked as sporting director at Cagliari with current Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, says a deal is off. "We have discontinued the negotiations with Catania for the defender Bellusci, finding no economic agreement", Salerno explained to Itasportpress. With Leeds having already brought in four players from the Italian market (goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, right-back Gaetano Berardi, midfielder Tommaso Bianchi and striker Souleymane Doukara) however, Salerno feels there is much to be pleased about with their transfer work. "I think we can be satisfied with that", he added. Leeds are not e

Leeds United: Hockaday confident new faces will gel

Yorkshire Evening Post 19/7/14 by Phil Hay David Hockaday says he is optimistic that Leeds United’s increasingly continental squad will blend together in time for the start of the season with the club continuing to look to the Italian market for new signings. United’s head coach admitted that the influx of players from abroad was “a gamble” but said the attitude of United’s foreign recruits was encouraging him to believe that they will integrate quickly in readiness for the club’s first Championship game on August 9. Hockaday’s squad was strengthened by the arrival of two Italian players – goalkeeper Marco Silvestri and midfielder Tommaso Bianchi – and French forward Souleymane Doukara during the club’s pre-season tour of Italy, and United owner Massimo Cellino is close to securing fresh arrivals from the continent. One, Sampdoria right-back Gaetano Berardi, flew into England on Thursday and tied up a permanent transfer last night, agreeing a two-year contract, with an option of a

Sampdoria’s Berardi on brink of sealing Leeds move

Yorkshire Post 18/7/14 SAMPDORIA right-back Gaetano Berardi is on the brink of sealing a move to Leeds United after linking up with the club’s squad at Thorp Arch. Berardi - a 25-year-old Swiss international - is understood to have taken part in a training session today ahead of his proposed move from Serie A. United have been working to finalise his sale from Sampdoria for the past week and he flew into England yesterday as his transfer edged towards completion. Reports in Italy say Berardi will sign on a two-year deal with the option of a third year when his initial contract expires in 2016. He is poised to become Leeds’ fifth new addition this summer, following Stuart Taylor, Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi and Souleymane Doukara to Elland Road. Speaking about Berardi yesterday, United owner Massimo Cellino said: “He’s a good guy. “I’m offering less money than Sampdoria, he’s playing in Serie A and played 150 times in Serie A, and he’s a national team player but he’s wants t

Cellino pledges Leeds United fans will no longer be ripped off

Football League World 18/7/14 BY WILL MATTHEWS Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has pledged to the fans of the club that they will no longer be ripped off according to reports in the Daily Mirror. Cellino has said that the club was in disarray with daily running costs of £125,000 when he took over the club, and that the best interests of the club were never put first.This club is going to have more quiet time and fewer problems now,” said Leeds’ owner. “And the people who used to rip the club off, they’re going to stop. I’ll protect the club from everyone – including myself.” “For the first time in 12 years, this club wants to go to the Premier League, but it doesn’t need to go to the Premier League, that’s my message. We might have to suffer a little bit, but in my life I never saw anything good or important without hard work. “We have to work hard and face pain to get to the Premier League, but we don’t need to go there to pay wages or debts. We’re not plagued with that desper

Leeds United: Cellino looks to reasssure fans over future of Matt Smith

Yorkshire Evening Post 18/7/14 Millwall’s chances of signing Matt Smith from Leeds United appeared to weaken last night as United owner Massimo Cellino played down the possibility of the striker leaving Elland Road. Cellino described Smith as a “nice player” who was “growing” at Leeds amid reports from London indicating that Millwall are ready to move on from their pursuit of the 25-year-old. Millwall had an initial offer for Smith rejected by Cellino last month and United are believed to have given the Bermondsey club, who they play on the first day of the new season, no encouragement over the past few weeks. Leeds are already working to compensate for the loss of Ross McCormack, the 29-goal striker who recently moved to Fulham in an £11million transfer, and a deal to sell Smith would cost the club a forward who scored 13 times last season. The former Oldham Athletic played has only one year left on his contract but Cellino said he would be staying with United next season along w

Leeds United: The town has a new sheriff says Cellino

Yorkshire Evening Post 18/7/14 Leeds United’s colourful owner Massimo Cellino talks to Phil Hay about his first 101 days in charge of the Elland Road club. This is Leeds and in the words of Massimo Cellino, it’s his town now. Leeds United’s owner is buying a house in the north of the city and his wife intends to move in from Miami. His daughter has chosen to leave university in New York to continue her studies in the north of England. “The town has a new sheriff,” Cellino says, and in the case of Leeds United he’s right. It is months and years since the city’s only professional football club was run with the authority the Italian exerts. Cellino’s way has shed tears and jobs, deconstructing the business he bought in April, but this way is his and his alone. And so, 101 days on from his takeover, Cellino thinks he can see “light coming from the sky.” The relief is understandable. Of all the cost-cutting carried out through the summer, no saving mattered more than the deal reached in

Cellino pledge on Leeds United squad

Yorkshire Evening Post 17/7/14 by Phil Hay Massimo Cellino has revealed that Leeds United’s summer signings were likely to run into double figures as he waited on the completion of a deal for Sampdoria’s Gaetano Berardi. In a lengthy interview with the YEP, the United owner said he planned to bring another “five or six” new players to Elland Road on top of the four already signed by the Championship club. His comments pointed to a major overhaul of the squad at Leeds and a sweeping response to the club’s mediocre performance in the Championship last season, a season in which they finished 15th. United have already signed goalkeepers Marco Silvestri and Stuart Taylor, midfielder Tommaso Bianchi and forward Souleymane Doukara, and Cellino confirmed that an offer for Sampdoria’s Berardi was virtually in place. The right-back, a Switzerland international, has been made available by Sampdoria and Carlo Osti, the Serie A club’s sporting director, appeared to indicate that a deal was do

More Leeds signings soon promises Hockaday

Yorkshire Post 17/7/14 LEEDS United head coach David Hockaday has promised that more new signings will be coming to Elland Road - and left the door open the possibility of taking controversial striker Nile Ranger on trial. Hockaday refused to rule out the option of inviting Ranger to train at Thorp Arch and said further additions to United’s squad were necessary after four transfers in the past fortnight. Italian right-back Gaetano Berardi is set to become Leeds’ fifth summer recruit following successful negotiations between Leeds and Sampdoria but Hockaday expects other deals to materialise before the Championship season starts on August 9. “There are areas where we need to strengthen and it’s not rocket science,” Hockaday said. “We’re working hard to improve those areas.” United’s attacking options were significantly reduced at the start of the month when the club agreed to sell captain and top scorer Ross McCormack to Fulham for £11million. The club took forward Souleymane Dou

Leeds United look set to take a chance with trial for Nile Ranger

Yorkshire Evening Post 17/7/14 Leeds United’s players will resume training after a two-day break this afternoon amid persistent rumours that Nile Ranger is poised to begin a trial at Thorp Arch. The controversial striker, who has prior links with United head coach David Hockaday, looks set to be given an unexpected opportunity by Leeds despite the chequered record which has hindered his professional career. Ranger, 23, is without a club after a hamstring injury and disciplinary issues ended his year-long spell at Swindon Town in May. Swindon signed the forward during the summer of 2013, several months after Ranger and Newcastle United agreed to sever his contract at St James’ Park. Ranger’s senior career began at Newcastle but he was embroiled in controversy throughout his time on Tyneside, finally leaving the Premier League club after 62 appearances, most of them made as a substitute. He and Hockaday – himself a former Swindon player – are believed to have crossed paths in 2007

Leeds United: Agent reveals Viviani talks

Yorkshire Evening Post 16/7/14 by Phil Hay The agent of young Italian midfielder Federico Viviani has confirmed that he is speaking to Leeds United about a possible transfer from Roma. But Giovanni Ferro played down the possibility of Viviani moving to the Championship by revealing that the 22-year-old was attracting widespread interest from Serie A clubs in Italy. Viviani - an ex-Under-21 international - is expected to leave his current team this summer having been crowded out of a high-quality squad in Rome. He has played six times for Roma since making his debut as a 19-year-old in 2011 but most of his senior appearances have been amassed on loan, most recently at Serie B side Latina last season. Ferro told the YEP: “We are speaking with Leeds United but the player has a lot of interest from Italian Serie A clubs. “We’ll take a decision in the near future.” United have already signed one Italian midfielder, landing Tommaso Bianchi on a four-year contract from Sassuolo. The

Message of support for Haigh from senior Leeds United Supporters Club members

Yorkshire Evening Post 16/7/14 by Phil Hay Prominent members of the Leeds United Supporters Club have sent a message of support to David Haigh, the former United managing director who has been under arrest in Dubai for two months. Chairman Ray Fell and three other senior figures at the Supporters Club - Phil Beeton, Dave Gaertner and Chris Hall - said Haigh’s imprisonment over allegations of fraud had left them “upset, dismayed and angry at the treatment apparently afforded to you.” Haigh was detained in Dubai on May 18 and has been held without charge for the past nine weeks following claims by GFH Capital, United’s former owner, that he embezzled almost £3m during his time as the company’s deputy chief executive. The 36-year-old denies any wrongdoing but remains in jail after a court set the cost of bail at close to £4m. Haigh’s global assets were frozen last month as prosecutors in Dubai investigated the matter. GFH Capital has launched a civil case against him in the Dubai In

Young striker Robbie McDaid sets high target as he talks about joining Leeds United

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leedsunited.com 16/7/14 Young United striker Robbie McDaid has set himself high targets as his career at the club begins. The 17-year-old signed a two-year contract with the club in March this year and admits that following his arrival from Northern Ireland side Glenavon he is here to work hard to improve himself as a player. “I’m not going to go to a club and pretend to be something that I’m not,” said the youngster. “What you see is what you get with me. “I think the club liked my style of play. I am an old fashioned centre forward. I’m physical and I think that suits the English game, “The step up is massive. In my opinion English teams are the best in the world. “It is now just a matter of working hard. You have to work hard and you have to be disciplined. You have to live it everyday and you have to want it everyday. “I want to be here and I want to work hard. I want to progress.” Robbie has been part of the Under-21s pre-season schedule and has played against Grimsby Boro

Now Leeds in race for Berardi and two centre-backs

Yorkshire Post 16/7/14 Leeds United remain in the hunt to sign right-back Gaetano Berardi and will attempt to land two new centre-backs before the start of the season after running into problems with the proposed transfers of Jonathan Rossini and Giuseppe Bellusci. Leeds pulled out of a deal to take 25-year-old Rossini on loan from Sassuolo last week and the club look unlikely to secure the signature of Bellusci, despite productive attempts to negotiate the sale of the Italian defender from Serie A club Catania. United are believed to be willing to meet Catania’s valuation but have been put off by Bellusci’s wage demands. Owner Massimo Cellino is now considering other options but right-back Berardi is poised to become Leeds’ fifth signing of the summer with talks about a switch from Sampdoria on-going. Berardi, 25, is a Switzerland international who moved to Sampdoria in 2012 after starting his career at Brescia. He made a steady impact with Sampdoria during the 2012-13 season, pl

Leeds to offer former Newcastle and Swindon striker Nile Ranger a trial

Mail 15/7/14 Leeds are to offer Nile Ranger a chance to train with the club 23-year-old is a free agent after leaving Swindon Ranger scored seven goals in 19 appearances last season for Swindon By SIMON JONES Leeds United are to offer Nile Ranger the chance to train with the club. The troubled 23-year-old is a free agent after leaving Swindon Town at the end of last season. Ranger's young career has been marred with controversy since he made his professional debut five years ago at Newcastle. Ranger made his debut for the Magpies in August 2009 in a Championship match against West Brom. He scored two goals in 51 appearences on Tyneside - which included spells out on loan to Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday. Last season the former England Under-19 striker scored seven goals in 19 games for Swindon. Ranger could be seen as a possible replacement for Ross McCormack who moved to Fulham in a £11million deal earlier this month.

Leeds United: New faces highlight fresh approach to transfer market

Yorkshire Evening Post 15/7/14 by Phil Hay Leeds United’s players arrived back from their tour of Italy yesterday talking positively about the intensity of their training camp but the football played during two weeks in the Dolomites did little to showcase the true ability of the new faces who flew home with them. A record-breaking rout of a local amateur team and an 11-a-side match arranged at short notice after opponents from Romania failed to show up were games on which nothing could be gauged beyond the fitness of United’s squad but five domestic friendlies between now and August 2 will shed light on the foreign signings made in the past fortnight. The club’s pool of senior professionals was three heavier on the flight home than it had been when they travelled from Manchester to Verona on June 30, increased by players whose profiles have grown immeasurably in Yorkshire since they finalised transfers to Elland Road. United made English goalkeeper Stuart Taylor their first signin

David Hockaday - My feet still haven’t touched the ground

Yorkshire Evening Post 15/7/14 MAD MONTH: It’s been a non-stop four weeks for new United head coach Dave Hockaday who tells Lee Sobot about his first impressions of the club. PRESIDENT Massimo Cellino’s views on the residency of his Leeds United players have been well documented. And those views are echoed by head coach David Hockaday for whom a house move to Yorkshire is next on a chock-full agenda. The 56-year-old is loving life at Leeds almost four weeks into his tenure with Hockaday buzzing at the “fervour” shown by Leeds United’s fans. Hockaday will have been Whites head coach for four weeks on Thursday – the day United’s players return to training after a two-day break handed to them following the hard graft of a two-week training camp in Santa Cristina in Italy. Hockaday put his troops through training three times a day – re-iterating his desire for his new team to be the hardest working outfit in the Football League Championship. And also high up on the head coach’s agen

Leeds United: Hockaday rules out panic buys

Yorkshire Evening Post 15/7/14 by Lee Sobot HEAD coach David Hockaday says Leeds United won’t panic and be drawn into rushed transfer activity following the sale of Ross McCormack. United returned from their pre-season camp in Italy yesterday with the Whites having so far made four pre-season signings in ’keepers Stuart Taylor and Marco Silvestre plus midfielder Tomasso Bianchi and striker Souleymane Doukara. The latter joins on a season long loan from Calcio Catania to boost a forward line that had been limited to just Matt Smith, Dominic Poleon, Noel Hunt and Steve Morison following the sale of star striker McCormack to Fulham for £11m. However, while Hockaday insists that key departures will be replaced, the head coach is adamant he will not rush into transfer activity without careful assessment. Speaking just an hour after landing back into the UK, Hockaday told the YEP: ”I’ve said before that Leeds had some good players here last season and a number of them have gone includi

Only special players will make the cut at Leeds says Cellino

Yorkshire Post 14/7/14 LEEDS United owner Massimo Cellino has spoken of the need to have “special players” st Elland Road following the club’s surprise decision to pull out of a deal to take Swiss centre-back Jonathan Rossini on a temporary basis from Sassuolo. Cellino said: “We want special players at Leeds United. Rossini didn’t show enough during the three days he trained with the rest of the team.” Leeds completed deals with midfielder Tommaso Bianchi and striker Souleymane Doukara at the weekend. Bianchi, a former Italy Under 21 international, signed a four-year deal with Leeds after joining from Serie A side Sassuolo. French-born Doukara arrives from Catania on a season-long loan deal with a view to a permanent switch. 25-year-old Bianchi, who spent last season on loan with Modena, had been training with Leeds at their northern Italy pre-season base for a number of days prior to his move being confirmed. Head coach David Hockaday told the club’s official website: “Tommaso c

Leeds United: Leeds forced to play Leeds after no-show from opponents Viitorul

Yorkshire Post 13/7/14 by Phil Hay Leeds United were forced into a game between two sets of their own players after Romanian side Viitorul Constanta failed to turn up for a scheduled friendly. United’s second pre-season fixture of the summer – due to be played at 4pm yesterday – was cancelled at the last minute following a bizarre no-show from Viitorul Constanta. The Romanian top-flight club – owned by the legendary Gheorghe Hagi – had agreed to round off Leeds’ two-week tour of Italy with a match in Santa Cristina. But United head coach David Hockaday was left to field two Leeds teams against each other in the absence of any opposition. The cancellation ended a strange week in which United opened their pre-season programme with a 16-0 rout of local amateur side FC Gherdeina, setting a new record for their biggest ever pre-season victory. A short statement from the club read: “United’s friendly match with Viitorul Constanta has now been called off due to the Romanian side failin