Leeds secure Bamba’s return to Elland Road

Sol Bamba in action. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
Sol Bamba in action. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
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Leeds United have completed the signing of centre-half Sol Bamba – who has become the club’s third close-season capture.

The 30-year-old, who made a big impression during a loan spell at the club in the second half of last term, has joined from Serie A side Palermo on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

United, who return to pre-season training on Monday, have an option of retaining Bamba for a third year.

The former Leicester City defender played 19 times in a productive loan spell at Leeds after arriving in January.

His arrival follows on from the signings of Motherwell striker Lee Erwin and young goalkeeper Charlie Horton.

Outgoing Leeds sporting director Nicola Salerno was understood to be heavily involved in brokering the deal with Palermo for Bamba, with the Italian’s departure from the club officially confirmed yesterday.

Salerno has been strongly linked with a move back to Italy as a sporting director at Palermo, although some reports have also credited Premier League new boys Watford with an interest.

Barnsley are close to signing young Bolton Wanderers striker Conor Wilkinson.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has held talks with the Reds and a deal, understood to be for a fee of around £75,000, is set to be completed shortly.

Wilkinson, 20, who started his career at Millwall, had two spells under current Reds head coach Lee Johnson at Oldham Athletic last term, scoring four goals in 17 appearances in total.

The bustling Croydon-born forward made two starts and two substitute appearances for the Trotters last season.

Barnsley are also interested in Brentford defender Alfie Mawson, also linked with Bradford City, with Barnet wing-back Andy Yiadom also a reported target on their wish-list.