Bellusci’s Leeds United career over as Samuel Saiz gets set to sign

FIND A NEW CLUB: Leeds United defender Giuseppe Bellusci.
FIND A NEW CLUB: Leeds United defender Giuseppe Bellusci.
15
Have your say

GIUSEPPE Bellusci’s Leeds United career is over after the defender was left out of last night’s Whites friendly at North Ferriby and told to find a new club.

Bellusci was absent from Thomas Christiansen’s squad at Church Road and will miss Leeds’ pre-season tour to Austria having been informed that he is free to leave Elland Road after his spat with a group of the club’s supporters at Guiseley on Saturday.

The situation was not easy but we understood that this is best for the team and the club. We have to handle it as well as possible.

Leeds boss, Thomas Christiansen

The centre-back appeared in United’s first two pre-season friendlies after making a late return to training last week.

Leeds gave him extra time away from Thorp Arch in the hope that Bellusci would secure a transfer before the resumption of training but interest from Cagliari and Benevento has so far failed to lead to a serious offer.

Bellusci spent last season on loan at Empoli but plans to join the club permanently this summer fell through after Empoli were relegated to Serie B.

The controversial 27-year-old, who has 12 months left on his contract, came back to Leeds a week-and-a-half ago and will continue to train with United while the club wait for approaches for him.

Head coach Christiansen had offered Bellusci brief hope of a reprieve by playing him against Harrogate Town and Guiseley last week but his 45-minute outing at Nethermoor was overshadowed by a half-time confrontation with sections of United’s support.

Speaking after his side’s 2-0 win over North Ferriby last night, Christiansen said: “Bellusci is already out.

“Everyone took this decision. It was clear.

“The situation was not easy but we understood that this is best for the team and the club. We have to handle it as well as possible.”

With Bellusci no longer in his plans, Christiansen raised hopes of more incoming transfers and said he was confident that Samuel Saiz would seal a protracted move from Huesca in the next 24 hours.

Saiz has been in England since Monday ahead of a £3m transfer but United have not yet completed the midfielder’s switch.

Christiansen, however, said: “On Samu, he will sign. He made the medical test and I believe that everything will be fine.”

United’s head coach also revealed that another signing was on the way following days of intense speculation about the club’s interest in Lugano winger Ezgjan Alioski.

Leeds moved closer to a deal for Alioski late last week and Lugano confirmed in a statement on their website that they expected the Macedonia international to join an English club shortly.

Christiansen refused to comment on the identity of his target but said: “Somebody else is on the way. (Today) they make the medical test and we will see.”

United saw off North Ferriby with goals in each half from Marcus Antonsson and Kemar Roofe but Christiansen was critical of his team’s failure to take a spate of other chances.

“I’ve seen many good situations, especially the building up,” Christiansen said, “but of course I cannot be happy with the finishing.

“We have had a lot of opportunities and we could have scored six or seven goals. We have time to work on that.”

Leeds United director of football Victor Orta. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Orta pushing Gestede deal as Leeds United close in on Dutch striker Jay-Roy Grot