Leeds United: McCormack’s future still remains uncertain UPDATED

Dave Hockaday and Ross McCormack.
Dave Hockaday and Ross McCormack.
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THE future of Leeds United captain Ross McCormack appears uncertain this morning, with the club refusing to comment on reports suggesting he has asked to leave.

Reports surfaced on Saturday that the Scot had told United owner Massimo Cellino of his desire to quit Leeds following a face-to-face meeting last week.

When contacted by the YEP, the club did not comment on the story. But there are fresh suggestions today that McCormack has not travelled to United’s pre-season training camp at Santa Cristina in the Val Gardena region with renewed speculation that he could leave the club.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Paddy Kenny has also not flown out with the squad to Italy.

McCormack has been the subject of intense transfer speculation this close season and is thought to be on the wanted list of relegated Championship duo Fulham and Norwich City, with the former tabling a failed £5m bid earlier this summer. The Canaries, with money to spend following relegation and with their transfer kitty set to be swelled further by the impending sale of ex-United winger Robert Snodgrass to Hull City, are in the market for another frontline striker, despite the seven-figure signing of Lewis Grabban from Bournemouth.

West Ham are believed to have retained a level of interest, despite seeing a bid to sign McCormack rebuffed in January, with Newcastle United having also been linked with the 27-year-old this summer.

On the incoming front, Hockaday, who included young Academy centre-back Jake Skelton in his travelling party who left for Italy this morning, says he is confident Leeds will be able to bring in ‘two or three’ players shortly, with the club working on getting their transfer embargo lifted with their bank account no longer frozen.

The summer transfer window formally opens tomorrow, with the club continuing to be linked with several players in the Italian media, including goalkeeper Marco Silvestri.

The 23-year-old former Italy U-20 custodian made his Serie A debut in April while on loan at Cellino’s former club Cagliari, with his playing rights owned by Chievo and he is believed to be close to sealing a move to Leeds.

Hockaday said: “What I do know in football is that until pen is put to paper officially and things are recognised and registered, it would be unprofessional of me to comment on anything.

“As and when I have a player and I can announce it, then I’ll put my arm around him and do it properly. (But) I am hopeful we will have two or three signings next week.”

Meanwhile, United are still believed to be working towards attempting to cancel Cameron Stewart’s three-year deal, which he is due to sign tomorrow.

The winger was absent from pre-season training at Thorp Arch at the end of last week.

United will head straight into training this evening at Santi Cristini and over the next fortnight will be faced with three sessions a day. During their time in northern Italy, United will play two games against local sides, fielding a totally different starting XI in the first half and second half of each game – with every player getting 90 minutes under their belts.

Pleased with the response of players to him in training so far, Hockaday added: “We have cranked it up. Their attitude on the first day (Thursday) was a little bit of uncertainty, as it would be on the first day with a new head coach. But the first day was super. And on the second day, there was a big lift for me; we’ve made massive strides in the two days, but we’ve a long, long way to go.”

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