‘Set a precedent’ - Karl Robinson issues Leeds United warning over Willy Gnonto saga

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Karl Robinson was an assistant coach to Sam Allardyce for the final four games of last season

Karl Robinson believes Leeds United must stand by their not for sale stance over Willy Gnonto or risk setting a bad precedent for future transfers.

The Italian international has made himself unavailable for the club’s last two Championship games after a Leeds statement released last week confirmed the club’s decision to not sell the player during this window.

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The player has been the subject of interest from a number of clubs with Everton reportedly seeing two bids rejected for the forward.

Robinson was an assistant to Sam Allardyce for the final four games of last season and worked with Gnonto during his brief spell at Elland Road. He expressed sympathy with the player but insisted the youngster must honour his contract with the club and feels Leeds must stick by their not for sale stance after going public with it.

Speaking on the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast, Robinson said of the sitaution: "None of us know to what extent or what conversations have gone on. Here is a kid who is 19 years of age, he is a full Italian international, he has to play first and foremost - you are contracted to Leeds United. You signed that contract, when you sat down with your agent.

"If he doesn't play, and they [Leeds] fold, and he goes - what precedent does that set for the rest of the players, for the rest of this transfer window? The manager has to make a very bold decision and sometimes that has to be public. You can't have that lingering over a team.

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"This needs to be sorted sooner rather than later and it might have to sorted aggressively. It is hard for players, when they see one of their friends leaving as that can be a little bit of a dent in your confidence.

"Footballers don't have that long in their careers, they have got to make decisions to support their own careers. But you are signed to play for Leeds United and you have to play. Knowing Willy in the short time, he is not a bad person. He never came across as a bad person."

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