Leeds United: Viviani deal off, says Cellino

Massimo Cellino.
Massimo Cellino.
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Federico Viviani’s transfer to Leeds United appears to be dead after club owner Massimo Cellino said he was abandoning the midfielder’s loan move from Roma.

Viviani’s advisors expected talks with Leeds to resume on Monday after three days of discussions this week, but Cellino said: “I’ve already decided. He is out.”

United had arranged a deal to take Viviani on a season-long loan and he came to England from Italy on Tuesday to seal the transfer.

But negotiations in the past 72 hours failed to force an agreement and Viviani and his camp were due to fly back to Rome today.

His agent was quoted by Italian media as saying that Viviani would take the weekend to reach a final decision on his options with Serie A sides also interested in signing him but denied that the player would be speaking to any other clubs.

Cellino, who has been abroad all week, spoke with confidence about the proposed deal on Thursday, saying “I think we’ll be fine”, but his latest comments seem to have drawn a line under a protracted saga.

Viviani is an Italian Under-21 international and a defensive playmaker who has played six times for Roma. He has also captained the club’s youth team and was in line to become Leeds’ sixth summer signing.

United have already recruited four players from the Italian leagues - Marco Silvestri, Gaetano Berardi, Souleymane Doukara and Tommaso Bianchi - but an attempt to sign Giuseppe Bellusci from Catania fell through after Cellino refused to meet the centre-back’s wage demands.

In an interview with the YEP last week, Cellino said that another “five or six” signings would be made by Leeds in this transfer window and set the club’s budget for new players at £15m.

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