LEEDS UNITED are targeting a successful move for former Italian U21 goalkeeper Marco Silvestri – and could land him for a bargain fee of £450,000.
The 23-year-old, who impressed during a loan spell in the second half of last season at Cagliari during the final months of Massimo Cellino’s tenure at the Serie A club, is down the pecking order at parent club Chievo Verona and is set to move onto pastures new with his deal expiring next summer.
The former Italian under-21 custodian, who started his career at Modena, is expected to be second or third choice at Chievo in 2014-15 and is known to want regular football.
Silvestri’s agent Francesco Romano revealed recently that his client has been speaking to United, seeking to press ahead with some more inward transfer activity following the lifting of the club’s transfer embargo.
The club yesterday signed another goalkeeper in Stuart Taylor, who is likely to be back-up to a first-choice keeper next term.
Romford-born Taylor has joined United on a one-year deal after parting company with Reading.
Despite only featuring four times for the Royals in his two years in Berkshire, with his last appearance coming back on March 30, 2013, the 33-year-old insists his intention is not to come to Elland Road to warm the bench.
Taylor is currently working with United’s first team squad at their pre-season training camp in Santa Cristini and is eager to get a head-start in the race to become the club’s new number one, while acknowledging that he is likely to face strong competition with the arrival of another keeper ahead of the season.
Taylor, who has become United’s first summer signing, said: “After speaking to the head coach, it was obvious I have been brought in to bring a bit of experience.
“I’ve been around a long time and I know the game and if I can help the younger lads around me that’s great.
“But obviously if I’m called upon to play I know I can do a job. I’m looking forward to it.
“If I can be the number one that’s great, that is what everyone wants to be.
“No one is going to say that they don’t want to play.
“If you ask any footballer, they all want to be the first choice in their position and I’m no different.
“A number one is possibly coming in, but we will go from there. It is all about challenging for places and having competition for places.
“I’ll obviously be working as hard as possible to get the shirt and if I can I’ll be happy.”
Paddy Kenny, number one for Leeds in the first half of last season, is expected to move to pastures new later this summer, with the 36-year-old surplus to requirements and unlikely to play again for the club.
The Halifax-born stopper, one of the highest earners at the club having arrived from QPR two summers ago, has a year left on his United deal, but the club are keen for him to move him on to get him off their wage bill.
The club have totally rubbished national stories suggesting that his exit could be down to Cellino’s aversion to the number 17, considered his unlucky number with former Republic of Ireland international Kenny’s birthday being May 17.