Leeds United: Parma up the ante for Whites striker Mirco

Mirco Antenucci.
Mirco Antenucci.
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Italian side Parma head the list of clubs vying to sign Mirco Antenucci as the striker heads for the exit door at Leeds United.

Antenucci’s two-year stay at Elland Road appears to be coming to an end with his deal due to end this summer and Leeds holding off on contract talks with one game of the season remaining.

United have yet to make an offer to Antenucci, who has scored 19 league goals in 74 appearances for the club, and sources close to the forward anticipate a return to Italy during the close-season, two years after he left Ternana to come to England.

Once-powerful Parma were forced to reform after bankruptcy a year ago but the club are back in Italy’s professional leagues after winning promotion to the country’s third division last month.

They are understood to have made their interest in Antenucci known already amid expectations that the 31-year-old will leave United after the Championship club round off their

season against Preston North End on Saturday.

Antenucci is also believed to be on the radar of Palermo and Hellas Verona, the side who sit bottom of Serie A this season and who were heavily linked with Leeds’ Italian centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci in January.

Meanwhile, former United academy director Paul Hart has joined Luton Town as assistant manager, a month after leaving at Thorp Arch.

Hart quit his role as the head of Leeds’ youth-development scheme on April 1, less than a year on from his appointment.

United, who are yet to appoint a replacement for him, said the 62-year-old was moving on to “allow more time to attend to personal matters.”

Hart, however, has now been confirmed as number two to Luton manager Nathan Jones, a coach he worked with previously in Charlton Athletic’s academy.

Hart said: “To come to a prestigious club like Luton in this position as assistant manager, I’m very grateful.

“It feels good to come into a place which has a pathway to future glories and I’m always ready to be part of a winning environment.”