Leeds United are maintaining their interest in defender Sol Bamba despite claims that the centre-back has turned down a permanent move to Elland Road.
Bamba, who finished the recent Championship season on loan at Leeds, is reported to have rejected an offer to make his temporary switch from Palermo permanent.
United wanted to buy Bamba out of his contract at Palermo this summer, undeterred by the 30-year-old’s open criticism of owner Massimo Cellino earlier this month.
Bamba signed off from his loan at Elland Road by admitting he was keen to come back to Leeds but was frustrated by Cellino’s manager of the club.
The defender voiced annoyance at the suspension of former assistant boss Steve Thompson and at the treatment of ex-head coach Neil Redfearn, who Leeds replaced with Uwe Rosler a week ago.
Bamba described the situation as “ridiculous” and said that “the people in charge need to take good decisions for the club and not for anyone personally.”
But he added: “I want to stay here and I don’t say that just to make people happy. I’ll give everything to stay here.”
Bamba is one year into a three-year deal at Palermo but he has made only one league appearance of the Italian club since joining from Trabzonspor last August and Palermo are willing to allow him to leave.
Amid suggestions today that Bamba is set to reject a return to Elland Road, a source at Leeds told the YEP that the defender was “still an option”.
Bamba made 19 appearances for Leeds in the Championship and was an influential figure in their successful fight against relegation.