Leeds caught by surprise at Kisnorbo Chinese whispers

PATRICK KISNORBO is set to see out his loan at Ipswich Town after a bizarre sequence of events in which the Leeds United defender was forced to deny that he was quitting England and moving to China.

Patrick Kisnorbo

Kisnorbo found himself at the centre of a peculiar transfer saga after an Australian sports management firm claimed the 31-year-old had agreed to join Liaoning Whowin, one of China’s Super League clubs.

A move to the Far East, where the transfer window is open until the end of this month, would have ended Kisnorbo’s three-and-a-half year career at Elland Road and unexpectedly cut short his half-season loan to Ipswich.

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Calibre Management, an agency based in Melbourne, announced the deal on Twitter yesterday morning but the news caught both Ipswich and Leeds by surprise and the company later deleted the tweet and closed its Twitter account.

Kisnorbo issued a public denial, saying: “It’s all rubbish. I’ve never heard of the club or the company so I don’t have a clue where the story’s come from.

“I’m at Ipswich until the end of the season and I’ll look at my future after that.

“All I’m concerned about at the moment is doing my best for the club and helping Ipswich move up the (Championship) table.”

Kisnorbo joined Ipswich on a short-term basis on January 3 but the Suffolk club later extended his loan until the end of the term, giving Leeds no right of recall.

The former Leicester City centre-back has barely featured under Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy, playing once in an FA Cup tie against Aston Villa, and McCarthy seemed to have prepared the ground for Kisnorbo’s departure by signing defender Reece Brown from Manchester United on Monday.

But Kisnorbo is likely to remain in Ipswich beyond the end of the Chinese transfer window, leaving him to consider his next move when his contract with Leeds runs out June. United are not expected to offer him a new deal.

The Yorkshire side signed him in 2009 and saw him turn in a series of highly-influential displays on the way to promotion from League One but serious Achilles and knee injuries wrecked his prospects of becoming an established player in the Championship.

Current Leeds manager Neil Warnock used him just once before Christmas and sent him on loan to Ipswich last month, and Kisnorbo voiced frustration at his lack of involvement, saying: “I’ve been fit since the summer. I’ve just not been in the side at Leeds.”

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