Weston McKennie Leeds United admission as new Wilfried Gnonto link emerges

The latest news from Leeds United as Daniel Farke’s side prepare to return to Championship action this weekend.
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Serie A clubs Fiorentina and Sassuolo are reportedly keen on securing a loan deal for Leeds United forward Wilfried Gnonto.

The Italy international’s future has been a constant source of speculation in recent months following the Whites relegation from the Premier League. Gnonto submitted a written transfer request last month as he tried to force a move away from Elland Road ahead of the final week of the summer transfer window.

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However, after the forward marked his comeback with a goal in a win at Ipswich Town, Whites manager Daniel Farke revealed he had held talks with Gnonto ahead of the trip to Portman Road.

He told BBC Leeds: “At the beginning of the week he came to see me and explained his situation and he apologised that he had made a mistake. He asked if he could be involved in team training and he is 100% ready.

“My decision was to give him a second chance and if he impresses in training he will earn a spot in the squad. I’m always open to give a young player a second chance, but he knows that there is no third chance. The ball is in his court now.”

Doubt still remains over Gnonto’s long-term future at Elland Road and Napoli Calcio Live have reported Fiorentina and Sassuolo are prepared to hand the youngster an opportunity to return to Italy for the first time since he left Inter Milan to join Swiss side Zurich in April 2020. The report claims both clubs would prefer to agree a loan deal for Gnonto as a permanent move could prove too costly.

Former Leeds United loan star makes admission over Elland Road struggles

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Weston McKennie has admitted a lack of fitness hampered his attempts to make an impact during his loan spell at Leeds United.

The USA international was seen as a key signing when he joined the Whites on loan from Juventus in the final days of the January transfer window. Despite coming with a big reputation, McKennie could not find form and departed the club in the aftermath of their relegation.

The 25-year-old has now opened up on his underwhelming spell with the Whites and revealed he ‘didn’t feel he was in the best shape’ throughout the second half of last season.

He told The American Dream podcast: “I’m not one to make excuses at all, but I don’t think my physical fitness was the best because I was so used to being at Juventus and playing every three days. Game fitness is so different to training fitness for me.

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“I become game fit by playing games, and you can’t replicate that in training, you can try, but I can’t do that. Playing one game a week, I didn’t feel I was in the best shape in terms of being able to last a 90-minute game.”