Mirco Antenucci’s agent insisted today that the striker was happy at Leeds United despite clear suggestions that he wanted a move to Italy last month.
Silvio Pagliari, Antenucci’s Italian representative, said a decision over the 31-year-old’s future would wait until the end of the season after Leeds resisted pressure to sell Antenucci ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline.
Antenucci, whose contract at Elland Road ends in June, is understood to have told United that he wished to go home to Italy during the January window after his partner gave birth to their second child.
Leeds owner Massimo Cellino held talks with Antenucci’s camp over the weekend but United’s failure to sign another striker before Monday’s 11pm deadline saw interested from Ascoli and other Italian clubs rejected.
In a statement issued to the YEP, Pagliari said: “Mirco is very happy to stay at Leeds, of course, in such a big and historical club, challenging in the Championship and still in the FA Cup.
“About his future - at the end of the season. Now it is too early. Let’s see what happens.”
Antenucci agreed a two-year deal when he joined United from Ternana in 2014 but Leeds have allowed his contract to run down and are yet to open negotiations about an extension.
The club look unlikely to match his existing terms and Antenucci is expected to move on at the end of this season.
His record at Leeds shows 15 goals from 66 appearances, almost 30 of those outings made as a substitute, but his opportunities have been limited this term under both Uwe Rosler and Steve Evans.
Evans said on Saturday: “Antenucci’s got a part to play but it depends on how much Mirco wants to play that part. I’ve never hidden my love for the player.”
Speaking in late November, Antenucci said he was keen to stay at Elland Road.
“I would like (a new contract) but it’s not my decision,” he said. “For now I’ll wait for a call – or not.”