Antenucci tipped for Leeds exit and move back to Serie B

Mirco Antenucci holds off Ipswich's Christopher Berra last September

Mirco Antenucci holds off Ipswich's Christopher Berra last September

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Mirco Antenucci is being linked with a return to Italy as his contract at Leeds United continues to wind down.

Reports on the continent claim Antenucci is attracting interest from a number of Serie B clubs amid continuing doubt about whether the Elland Road club intend of offer him a new deal. Antenucci is six months away from the end of the two-year contract he agreed when Leeds signed him from Ternana in 2014.

The club are yet to open talks about an extension and Antenucci has been a peripheral figure recently, omitted from head coach Steve Evans’s line-up after a change of formation at the end of November.

Ascoli, Bari, Novara and Cagliari – the club once controlled by United owner Massimo Cellino – are believed to be monitoring him.

In a recent interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post, Antenucci admitted that he was in the dark about his future

He said: “I still don’t know. My contract expires next June, let’s see what happens.”

The forward has scored 15 goals in 60 games for the Elland Road club, but he turned 31 in September and Evans admitted earlier this season that United were unlikely to address his deal until later in the playing season.

Evans said: “We want him around but given his age I think it’s a little bit early in the season to be deciding what we would do contractually-wise.

“I’ll be hopeful that if he continues to play like he has played for me during my time at the football club then I’m sure Mirco will be around.”

Leeds have confirmed next Thursday, January 14, as the date for their Under-18s’ FA Youth Cup tie against Manchester City.

United’s fourth-round meeting with City’s expensively-assembled academy side will kick off at Elland Road at 7pm.

City reached the final of the competition last season, losing to Chelsea over two legs.

United’s passage into round four was secured by a dramatic 3-2 victory over Brentford last month.

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