FORMER Cagliari sporting director Nicola Salerno has given the clearest indication he is set to once again link up with Leeds president Massimo Cellino at Elland Road.
Salerno, who worked with Cellino during the pair’s time at Serie A club Cagliari, turned down an offer to join Palermo following talks with the newly-promoted club last week.
“Leeds? It’s a life choice, my first experience abroad but with an Italian owner,” Salerno told Italian football website Tuttomercatoweb.
“The no to Palermo? There was some contact considering I have an excellent rapport with (Palermo owner Maurizio) Zamparini. I needed time and then I made my decision. But the rapport remains a good one.”
Salerno’s potential reunion with Cellino has been no secret since the latter completed his takeover of Leeds in early April.
Cellino ended his 22-year association with Cagliari when agreeing a deal to sell the club to the Giulini family on June 11 and said he had officially severed ties with them last Thursday when unveiling David Hockaday as Leeds’ new head coach.
Hockaday was installed alongside new assistant Junior Lewis, while Cellino appointed former Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa striker Benito Carbone as a consultant responsible for all technical and football operations at Elland Road in May.
Salerno said the offer of a sporting director’s role at Palermo had initially interested him, but when speaking to the Italian press last week he said: “I do not have the heart.
“I can confirm that I have not accepted the proposal of Palermo. The club needed an immediate response, while I did not have sufficient certainty.”