Leeds United: Chairman hopeful on Becchio's deal

Leeds United chairman Ken Bates says he is hopeful that Luciano Becchio will commit himself to a new contract, despite the delay in concluding negotiations.

Becchio is one of two players, along with midfielder Neil Kilkenny, in active talks with the Elland Road club, and Bates said a "language problem" with the striker's agents was the main obstacle to reaching an agreement.

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The 26-year-old is United's leading scorer this season and a key member of Simon Grayson's squad, and Leeds' attempts to secure his future were brought into focus again by his brace in a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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Becchio will be free to leave at the end of this season unless Leeds convince him to extend the three-year contract his signed in 2008.

The club have had mixed success in recent transfer negotiations, striking a deal with Davide Somma while failing to secure Bradley

Johnson's long-term commitment, but Bates is optimistic that Becchio will follow Somma's lead.

"He's a nice guy and a goalscoring machine," Bates said. "We've no problems with Luciano.

"He wants to stay at the club and the only problem we have is that his agents live elsewhere and we have a language problem. But we're hoping to resolve that."