Becchio back in frame for Leeds return

FORMER Leeds United striker Luciano Becchio last night emerged as a target for the club with head coach Neil Redfearn pushing to sign the Argentinian on loan from Norwich City.

Luciano Becchio.

The United boss is understood to have included Becchio in a list of possible signings given to Leeds owner Massimo Cellino following the 31-year-old’s comeback from a serious injury.

Becchio was forced to cut short a half-season loan at Rotherham United in October after fracturing a heel in a behind-closed-doors game but he resumed training with Norwich before Christmas and is likely to attract interest from several clubs this month.

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Rotherham boss Steve Evans could bid to sign the forward again but Leeds, who sold Becchio to Norwich in a swap deal for Steve Morison in 2013, will also look to bring him on board if Cellino grants Redfearn’s request for an influx of players with Championship experience.

United’s head coach has stressed the need for a better balance in his squad after the summer transfer window brought an influx of signings from abroad.

Redfearn is also looking to add goals to his team following a six-game spell in which Leeds have scored once in open play.

Becchio spent 18 months in the Championship with United and is still a popular figure in Leeds on account of five-and-a-half successful seasons at Elland Road.

The forward arrived as a little-known striker from Spanish club Merida UD in 2008 but he was a pivotal member of the squad who won promotion from League One two years later.

Becchio finished the following season as the club’s top scorer with 20 goals and he claimed 19 in half a term before Leeds sold him to Norwich in exchange for Morison and £200,000.

He has made no lasting impact at Carrow Road, however, and Norwich allowed him to join Rotherham in the final hour of the summer transfer window. He played five times for Rotherham and scored twice before injury forced him to rejoin his parent club.

Evans suggested last month that Rotherham would look at Becchio again, saying: “Would I rule out Luciano coming back here? No I wouldn’t. We have to see what January brings.”

Becchio is one of a number of forwards who Leeds are looking at with the January window now open.

Sassuolo’s Leonardo Pavoletti is a long-term target who United approached back in August, and Andrey Galabinov - a Bulgarian at Serie B side Livorno - has also attracted attention from Elland Road.