Leeds United: Bruised Whites up the Ante

Jason Pearce, centre, leads the walk back to the centre circle after Brighton's early opener in last night's 2-0 defeat. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Jason Pearce, centre, leads the walk back to the centre circle after Brighton's early opener in last night's 2-0 defeat. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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MIRCO Antenucci will arrive in England for advanced negotiations with Leeds United today ahead of proposed transfer from Italian club Ternana.

Antenucci was scheduled to fly to Manchester from Rome this morning before travelling to Leeds to meet with owner Massimo Cellino and discuss the details of his contract.

United stumbled to a 2-0 Championship loss at home to Brighton last night but 30-year-old striker Antenucci appears to be closing in on a permanent move to Elland Road and could become Leeds’ 11th signing of the summer in the next 24 hours.

Antenucci was scheduled to fly to Manchester from Rome this morning before travelling to Leeds to meet with owner Massimo Cellino and discuss the details of his contract.

Antenucci, who is co-owned by Serie B side Ternana and Serie A club Catania, has been heavily linked with Leeds for the past week and the club’s interest in him intensified after their move for Rotherham United forward Kieran Agard fell through.

United had an offer of more than £800,000 for Agard accepted by Rotherham last Thursday but the transfer collapsed after they failed to agree personal terms with Agard during talks on Friday morning.

Antenucci is a more experienced option than 24-year-old Agard and a striker who has played for more than a decade in the Italian leagues, predominantly in the lower divisions.

His career took him to Catania, Venezia and Torino before Catania signed him for a second time in 2012.

Antenucci’s recent opportunities at Catania have been limited, however, and he captained Ternana in Serie B last season.

Today’s talks with Antenucci come as Leeds attempt to finish off their transfer business before the summer deadline on September 1.

The club are continuing to speak to Flamengo about a possible deal for midfielder Adryan, a 20-year-old Brazilian who is on loan at Cagliari but wanted by Cellino.

Adryan joined Cagliari on a temporary 18-month contract last season and Cagliari have an option to sign him permanently for around £5m.

But Cellino was behind that transfer during his time as owner of the Sardinian club and he is negotiating with Flamengo, Cagliari and Adryan’s agent in a bid to secure a deal which sees the youngster recalled by Flamengo and then transferred immediately to Elland Road.

Cellino has described discussions over Adryan as “difficult” but said the Brazil Under-20 international was a “natural number 10.”

Kyle Bartley

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