Talks between Leeds United and AC Milan over a loan deal for Zan Benedicic will intensify in the coming days after the midfielder flew home early from Milan’s pre-season tour of the USA, writes PHIL HAY.
Benedicic left America last night and appears set on securing a season-long move to Elland Road before the Championship season starts on August 9.
The 18-year-old’s agent, Amir Ruznic, confirmed that Milan and Leeds were involved in negotiations over a deal to bring Benedicic to England, saying: “The clubs are talking. He is back from the States and I hope to have news in the next few days.”
Leeds originally approached Milan about Benedicic earlier in the summer but were told that Filippo Inzaghi, the Italian’s club coach, was unwilling to release him.
The attacking midfielder was taken to the United States with the rest of Inzaghi’s squad but has returned to Italy ahead of schedule with Milan now willing to release him on a temporary basis.
Reports in the Slovenian media, however, say the Serie A side are resisting an attempt by Leeds to secure the option of signing Benedicic permanently next summer.
The transfer is one of two which Leeds have been pushing to finalise in the past 48 hours.
Owner Massimo Cellino said yesterday that a deal to take 22-year-old playermaker Federico Viviani on loan from Roma was complete after a fractious weekend in which the 58-year-old Italian appeared to have called the move off.
But Viviani’s camp – all of whom are back in Rome after spending time in England last week – have since revealed that they are still awaiting all the paperwork needed to make his year-long move official.
Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has signed a new four-year deal at Goodison Park.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise since breaking into the first team at the start of last season and was included in the England squad for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Barkley, who had a loan spell at Leeds United back in 2012, has won nine England caps so far and was named on the shortlist for last season’s PFA Young Player of the Year Award.