BANNED Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino is being linked with a bid for stricken Italian outfit Parma, as rumours continue to circulate that he may be ready to sell up.
Reports in Italy suggest that Cellino, currently barred by the Football League from owning the club or being a director, could turn his attentions to Serie A crisis club Parma amid speculation that United’s majority shareholder Eleonora Sport are in negotiations to sell.
Cellino is banned by the Football League from any involvement at Leeds until May 4 due to a conviction for tax evasion imposed last year.
He also faces other court cases in Italy which could incur fresh disqualifications from the governing body.
While Cellino has denied any interest in Parma, his family are said to be very keen to return to Italian football, according to reports.
Last month, the Serie A club was declared bankrupt by a court in Italy, but were allowed to see out the season.
They will be forced to restart from the amateur divisions next season if their €74m sporting debt is not paid.
Andrew Umbers, who stepped in as Leeds chairman when Cellino was barred at Leeds, has insisted that the 58-year-old does not want to sell and that there have not been any approaches.
But has not stopped intense speculation continuing to suggest that parties remain interested in purchasing Leeds.
The name on many supporters’ lips remains soft drinks giant Red Bull.
But only this weekend, the organisation rejected comments recently made by Cellino that they have tabled an offer for the club with Eleonora Sport.
Meanwhile, Hull City are the latest Premier League club to be linked with a move for free-scoring Leeds midfielder Alex Mowatt, who was watched by Tigers scout John Rudge in United’s 4-3 loss at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday.
Several top-flight sides, including Everton and Aston Villa have also monitored the form of the Doncaster-born midfielder, who has netted nine goals this term.
Any potential move from Hull is likely to be dependent on them securing their Premier League status at the end of the current season.
In a separate development, national reports have suggested that Liverpool are the latest club to be tipped to make a move for Sam Byram, another of United’s prized assets.
A host of top-flight clubs, including Sunderland and Southampton, are known to be admirers of the 21-year-old.
Liverpool are likely to be in the market for a right-back in the summer with high-earning Glen Johnson expected to move on and John Flanagan out of contract - and Javier Manquillo’s loan finishing at the end of the current campaign.
Byram is under contract at Leeds until the summer of 2016.