Leeds owner Cellino linked with move for Italian club Parma

Massimo Cellino at Elland Road, Leeds
Massimo Cellino at Elland Road, Leeds
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LEEDS UNITED owner Massimo Cellino is being linked with a move for stricken Italian outfit Parma, according to reports in his native Italy.

Reports suggests that the former Cagliari owner could be interested in Parma amid speculation that Eleonora Sport are in negotiations to sell United.

Last month, the Serie A club was declared bankrupt by a court in Italy, but were allowed to see out the season.

They will be forced to restart from the amateur divisions next season if their €74m sporting debt is not paid.

While Cellino has denied any interest, his family are said is very keen to return to Italian football, reports say.

Andrew Umbers, who stepped in as Leeds chairman when Cellino was barred from owning or being a director at Leeds, has insisted that Cellino does not want to sell and that there have not been any approaches.

That has not stopped intense speculation that parties remain interested in purchasing Leeds.

Cellino is currently barred until May 4 due to a conviction for tax evasion imposed last year.

The Football League banned him as owner on December 1 - a decision which was upheld in January after a failed appeal by Cellino - and he faces other court cases in Italy which could incur fresh disqualifications from the governing body.

He is currently in Miami but plans to return to England later this month.

Earlier this month, Cellino claimed that soft drinks giant Red Bull were bidding to buy Leeds - but they rejected comments made by the Italian they had tabled an offer for Leeds with the club’s majority shareholder, Eleonora Sport (ESL).

ESL currently owns more than 97 per cent of shares in United, with former owner Gulf Finance House retaining the remaining stake.

Cellino used ESL to completed his takeover of Leeds a year ago and the company has retained majority ownership despite the Football League banning the 58-year-old from running the club.