Federico Viviani’s advisors will hold a last round of talks with Leeds United today in an attempt to salvage his move to Elland Road.
Representatives of the Roma midfielder plan to speak to the Championship club as planned, despite United owner Massimo Cellino calling off the transfer over the weekend.
Cellino said Viviani was “out” after three days of talks in Leeds last week failed to secure an agreement over his season-long loan from Serie A.
The 22-year-old flew home to Rome on Saturday believing a transfer to Elland Road was still a possibility, with Nicola Salerno – Cellino’s right-hand man –promising to continue negotiations today. Viviani’s camp indicated that the Italy Under-21 international wanted to use the weekend to make a final decision over his future with a number of Italian clubs interested in signing him, but Cellino said: “I’ve already decided. He is out.”
Giovanni Ferro, one of Viviani’s representatives, said he was “surprised” by Cellino’s comments, saying: “When we left, Mr Salerno told us that we could have more contact.” Asked if he thought the deal was dead, Ferro said: “I’ll talk with director Salerno again (today).”
Viviani’s temporary switch from Roma appeared to be a formality in the early stages of last week after he travelled to England to tie up his move.
He watched Leeds lose 2-0 at Mansfield Town on Tuesday night and was expected to sign before Saturday’s friendly at Chesterfield, but his camp opted to return to Italy with his contract unsigned on Friday night.
Viviani is a highly-rated prospect who has captained Roma’s youth team and was recently called up by Italy to a pre-World Cup training camp. He has three years left on his contract at Roma having signed a five-year deal in 2012. With his transfer in serious doubt, United’s search for new players is becoming increasingly urgent with the Championship season less than two weeks away.
The club claimed a late 2-2 draw at Chesterfield, with Rodolph Austin scoring twice from the penalty spot. Speaking afterwards, head coach David Hockaday said: “We’re still looking to strengthen and it’s pretty obvious that we need to. The Championship’s a tough, uncompromising league.”