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Leeds United: Becchio and Morison swap deal moves closer LATEST

EXCHANGE: Steve Morison celebrates netting for former club Millwall at Elland Road in March 2010.

EXCHANGE: Steve Morison celebrates netting for former club Millwall at Elland Road in March 2010.

  • by Phil Hay
 

Neil Warnock admitted he was looking forward to the end of the transfer window as Luciano Becchio closed in on a move to Norwich City which should bring Steve Morison to Elland Road before tonight’s deadline.

Becchio travelled to Norwich for talks yesterday after a late approach from the Premier League club put them at the front of the queue for United’s top scorer and offered Leeds the chance to sign Morison as his replacement.

United opened negotiations with Morison last night having set up a transfer which will see Norwich swap the former Millwall forward and a cash payment for 19-goal Becchio. Morison is also believed to have undertaken a medical at Thorp Arch.

He was on United’s radar from the earliest stages of the January window and Leeds enquired about the 29-year-old prior to their game against Bristol City on January 19 but Becchio’s recent transfer request and Norwich’s last-minute move for the Argentinian advanced the signing rapidly.

Morison’s own switch to Norwich from Millwall in 2011 brought him limited success, with the forward featuring regularly this season and last but failing to tie down a starting place under either current City manager Chris Hughton or ex-boss Paul Lambert.

The acquisition of Morison is likely to be one of at least two signings completed by Warnock today, with a deal to secure Aston Villa left-back Stephen Warnock on an 18-month contract still on the cards.

A winger was also among United’s list of requirements for January and the cash pulled in by Becchio’s departure could help to finance an addition prior to tonight’s 11pm deadline.

Warnock refused to comment on his efforts in the transfer market but said he was looking forward to turning his attention to Saturday’s clash with Championship leaders Cardiff City with new signings in place.

“I’ll be glad when the window’s out the way,” Warnock said. “We’ll know what we’ve got in terms of the squad and we can get back to the football.

“Everyone knows what I think about the transfer window and it’s such a difficult time for managers. But we’ve got a big game coming up on Saturday and it’ll be nice to get our business done and focus on that.”

Becchio’s move to Norwich would bring to an end a four-and-a-half year career with Leeds.

The former Barcelona reserve – an unheralded signing from Spanish lower-league side Merida UD in 2008 – has made more than 200 appearances for the club and scored 86 times, ranking him among the top 10 league goalscorers in United’s history.

But he submitted a transfer request seven days ago in the wake of unsuccessful contract talks with Leeds. His existing deal was due to expire in June 2014.

Warnock, who left Becchio out of Leeds’s FA Cup clash with Spurs on Sunday, confirmed at the weekend that he would allow Becchio to move on if Leeds found a replacement, saying: “If we don’t sign a replacement then he can’t go anywhere. But if we do then he’s quite welcome to go because you only want players who want to be here.”

 

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