SAMPDORIA right-back Gaetano Berardi is on the brink of sealing a move to Leeds United after linking up with the club’s squad at Thorp Arch.
Berardi - a 25-year-old Swiss international - is understood to have taken part in a training session today ahead of his proposed move from Serie A.
United have been working to finalise his sale from Sampdoria for the past week and he flew into England yesterday as his transfer edged towards completion.
Reports in Italy say Berardi will sign on a two-year deal with the option of a third year when his initial contract expires in 2016.
He is poised to become Leeds’ fifth new addition this summer, following Stuart Taylor, Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi and Souleymane Doukara to Elland Road.
Speaking about Berardi yesterday, United owner Massimo Cellino said: “He’s a good guy.
“I’m offering less money than Sampdoria, he’s playing in Serie A and played 150 times in Serie A, and he’s a national team player but he’s wants to come.
“The agent of Berardi is a good friend of mine. He (Berardi) said he wanted to go to Cellino in England. I said ‘how much do you want?’ and offered less. If you’re good, you’ll get a bonus. You have to show me that you want to come here, not for money.
“When you sign players, you can always raise the wage. You can never lower the wage. So if you trust yourself then trust me. I’m not going to take advantage.”
United, however, appear to have backed away from the option of adding English left-back Andre Blackman to their squad full-time.
Blackman - a former Arsenal trainee who was with non-league Maidenhead United last season - joined Leeds on trial in June and feature in their pre-season tour of Italy, used in a more attacking role by head coach David Hockaday.
But the 23-year-old did not attend Thorp Arch for training yesterday or today and looks unlikely to land a contract.