Mystery bidder offers Leeds £5m for McCormack

BIG FEE ... Ross McCormack.
BIG FEE ... Ross McCormack.
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Leeds United have received a £5m bid for Ross McCormack from a rival Championship club.

McCormack - heavily linked with Derby County and Norwich City in the past 48 hours - was the subject of a firm offer yesterday and the bid is under consideration with Leeds owner Massimo Cellino due back in England on Sunday.

United are understood to value McCormack in excess of £6m but the club anticipated a flurry of interest in him this summer on the back of the striker’s haul of 29 goals in the Championship last season.

Newcastle United made an enquiry about Leeds’ club captain at the beginning of last week but denied tabling a formal bid for him, despite Cellino claiming to have rejected a “substantial offer” from St James’ Park.

Cellino, however, is pondering his next move after a Championship side made clear their intention to pay a sizeable fee for the Scotland international.

The club concerned have not been identified but Derby - last season’s beaten play-off finalists - and recently relegated Norwich are both rumoured to be interested in McCormack.

Cardiff City, his former club, bid unsuccessfully for the 27-year-old in January but are not thought to be behind the latest offer.

Cellino has not resigned himself to losing McCormack before the start of next season but it is understood that the Italian will sanction the forward’s departure for an acceptable price.

McCormack is under contract for another three seasons having signed a four-year deal last summer, an agreement which made him one of the club’s highest earners, but Leeds do not intend to improve his salary again.

Cellino and McCormack spoke at a one-to-one meeting at Elland Road on June 2, and Cellino claimed to have knocked back Newcastle’s interest later that week.

“Newcastle made an offer for McCormack and I said no,” he said. “He is happy to stay here and that made me proud.”

Cellino has been in Italy this week, signing off the sale of Serie A side Cagliari.

He will return to England on Sunday night, with McCormack’s future and the appointment of a new head coach high on his agenda at Elland Road.

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