Leeds United midfielder Tommaso Bianchi completed his loan move to Ascoli today as head coach Steve Evans dismissed claims that captain Sol Bamba could follow him out of the club.
Ascoli, the Italian Serie B side, have announced the signing of Bianchi on loan to the end of the season and said an option was in place to sign him permanently in the summer.
The 27-year-old midfielder has not played for Leeds since February and underwent surgery on two knee injuries last year.
Bianchi, who joined Leeds from Sassuolo in 2014, is only 18 months into a four-year deal but his temporary return to Italy is likely to be followed by a full-time move.
His transfer to Ascoli was held up briefly as he and United worked to finalise terms but he trained with the Italian club this morning and is set to be formally unveiled this evening.
Evans, however, rejected reports linking Premier League clubs Sunderland and Newcastle United with late bids for Bamba.
Bamba is being kept out of United’s line-up by Liam Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci but Evans said: “Sol’s a solid member of our squad, he’s our captain and he does that job with real professionalism.
“I’m not aware of any bids for Sol in this window but I can’t stop speculation.”