Transfer gossip (Jan 24): Leeds United striker Antenucci wanted by Italian Serie B outfit

Mirco Antenucci is wanted by Italian Serie B side Pescara and could be ready to tempt him back to his homeland.

Sunday, 24th January 2016, 4:53 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th January 2016, 4:59 pm
Mirco Antenucci in action.

Promotion-chasing Pescara have identified striker Antenucci as their most likely replacement for want-away star Andrea Cocco.

Pescara could opt to allow Cocco to join Salernitana, something which would mean another striker is required at the club.

And according to Sky Italia, Pescara see Antenucci as the most likely replacement for Cocco.

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The Serie B side are aware that Antenucci’s contract at Leeds expires in the summer and the hitman has been tipped to be open to a return to his homeland.

Pescara currently sit in third spot in Serie B, but have scored 13 goals fewer than second placed Cagliari and seven fewer than league leaders Crotone.

Antenucci is a fans favourite at Elland Road, but has found nailing down a regular starting spot with Leeds to be a tough ask.

He finished as the Whites’ leading goalscoring last season with 10 goals, but the role of striking talisman has been taken by Chris Wood, who joined from Leicester City in the summer.

Having seen Sam Byram leave last week in a £3.7m move to West Ham, the supporters would be disappointed to see another first-team player be allowed to leave the club.

Meanwhile, former Leeds United striker Ross McCormack is understood to have asked for a transfer out of Championship strugglers Fulham.

Recent speculation claimed that Middlesbrough have had a £9m bid plus Spanish striker Kike on loan for the Scottish frontman rejected by their Championship counterparts.

However, 29-year-old McCormack is keen to force through a move to Teeside and has insisted that he has played his last game for Fulham, according to the Daily Mail. The report adds that promotion-hunting Boro are prepared to improve upon their offer, although not by much.

McCormack, who has scored 15 goals this season, missed yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Hull City through illness. He joined Fulham from Leeds United for a fee of £11m

McCormack could be part of a double-swoop for Middlesbrough, who have also been linked with Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez.

The Southampton midfielder has been told by Saints boss Ronald Koeman to seek a new club this month with his contract at St Mary’s due to expire at the end of the season.

A number of clubs have been linked with the 25-year-old, but according to The Mirror, Ramirez is closing on a loan move to Boro, where he will spend the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign.

He cost Southampton £12m from Bologna in 2012, but has largely struggled to make his mark down south. It is understood that Boro, who lost at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, will take on some of Ramirez’s £65,000-a-week wages.

Hull City are reportedly keen to acquire the services of Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford on a loan deal before the transfer window closes next week.

Steve Bruce’s side, who currently sit one point clear at the top of the Championship, are the latest second-tier outfit to throw their hat in the ring for the 22-year-old, who cut short his loan spell at Crystal Palace over Christmas.

Other sides thought to have expressed an interest include Queens Park Rangers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Middlesbrough, where Bamford spent last season on loan to become the Championship’s top scorer.

According to the Sunday People, the Tigers are now leading the chase as they look to make promotion a certainty in the second half of the campaign.