Leeds United midfielder Tommaso Bianchi is pushing for a return to Italy, according to the coach of his former club Modena.
Walter Novellino, the manager who worked with Bianchi while the 26-year-old was on loan at Modena last season, said Bianchi “wants to come back here” but claimed Leeds owner Massimo Cellino was refusing to allow him to leave Elland Road.
Bianchi is tied to a four-year contract at United following his summer move from Sassuolo but he lost his place in Leeds’ starting line-up after a series of disappointing performances over Christmas and has not played since a 2-0 defeat to Derby County on December 30.
Novellino told Italian newspaper Gazzetta Di Modena: “In midfield I miss a player like Bianchi, one that guaranteed five or six goals a year.
“He wants to come back here but it’s an impossible deal because Cellino will not give us him.”
Cellino told the YEP this week that Bianchi was one of three senior players who were looking to quit Elland Road following the 58-year-old’s disqualification as owner of Leeds.
Cellino said Souleymane Doukara and Casper Sloth had also asked to move on - a suggestion which Sloth’s agent promptly denied on Twitter.
Cellino said: “This disqualification kills us. We have to persuade players to come and we have to persuade players not to leave us. A lot of the players want to leave.”
Bianchi has made 23 league appearances for Leeds since his transfer to England in July.