Leeds United: Bamba seals Whites transfer

Sol Bamba, right, challenges Robert Snodgrass.
Sol Bamba, right, challenges Robert Snodgrass.
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Palermo defender Sol Bamba has sealed his transfer to Leeds United after training with the club at Thorp Arch.

The Ivory Coast international linked up with Neil Redfearn’s squad this morning having finalised a half-season loan at Elland Road.

Bamba, 30, was lined up as United’s first January signing at the start of this week and he has moving to England with a view to a permanent switch in the summer.

Palermo have used him only once this season and Leeds were anxious to improve their options at centre-back with Giuseppe Bellusci set to begin a two-match ban during next weekend’s Championship game at Huddersfield Town.

Bellusci is also facing the threat of a much longer suspension after being charged by the Football Association with racially abusing Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome during a league match at Carrow Road in October.

The former Catania defender denies the charge but will receive a minimum five-match ban if the FA’s disciplinary commission finds him guilty. His hearing is likely to take place next month.

Bamba has prior experience of the Championship following his 18-month spell at Leicester City in 2011 and 2012.

He left England for Turkish side Trabzonspor and moved onto Palermo last summer. Despite agreeing a three-year contract in Italy, Bamba has had next to no involvement in Palermo’s Serie A season.

Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn told the YEP: “He’s trained with us this morning and he looked good and sharp.

“We need competition in that area, that’s clear to everyone, and the key for me is that Sol knows the Championship. He knows this level. He’s been here before with Leicester.

“He’ll be a good addition and we’re hopeful of getting another couple of new faces in next week.”

A deal to bring midfielder Granddi Ngoyi, Bamba’s Palermo team-mate, to Leeds is still awaiting completion, though Ngoyi is yet to arrive in England.

The 26-year-old Frenchman is also in line for a half-season loan at Elland Road and should tie up his transfer ahead of United’s visit to Huddersfield a week tomorrow.

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