Leeds United: Cellino denies reports Marroccu is set to join Whites as sporting director next season

Massimo Cellino.
Massimo Cellino.
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Massimo Cellino has denied claims that he is set to appoint Ascoli’s Francesco Marroccu as Leeds United’s new sporting director.

Cellino admitted he was open to the idea of Marroccu joining Leeds in future but said Marroccu would not be arriving at Elland Road for the 2016-17 season.

“Not yet but it could (happen) in the future,” Cellino said. “Maybe next year.”

Marroccu is currently sporting director of Serie B club Ascoli - the side who signed United midfielder Tommaso Bianchi on loan in January - but reports in Italy said yesterday that he will leave that role with a view to linking up with Cellino at Elland Road. Udinese’s Cristiano Giarretta is replacing him at Ascoli.

He worked under Cellino for almost a decade at Cagliari, holding the position of sporting director when Cellino sold the club in the aftermath of his takeover of Leeds in 2014.

United are looking to replenish their scouting team after losing head of recruitment Martyn Glover to Sunderland midway through the 2015-16 term.

Marroccu distanced himself from previous rumours linking him to a job in England last month, saying: “As for Leeds, with Cellino he was the person who made ​​my entry into the world of football possible but we have not talked about a future together again.”