Leeds United confirm Willy Gnonto ‘still does not feel able to play’ in the club’s Championship fixture against Birmingham City - while reiterating Everton target is not for sale

LEEDS UNITED have confirmed that striker Willy Gnonto has informed the Championship club that he ‘still does not feel able to play’ in the club’s next fixture against Birmingham City – having sat out the midweek EFL Cup tie with Shrewsbury Town.

Speculation has surrounded the future of the Italian international throughout the summer, with Everton having been interested in signing the 19-year-old through the close season.

Gnonto, who joined Leeds at the end of the last summer window on a five-year deal from Swiss side, does not have a release clause in his contract and Leeds have reiterated that the striker is not for sale.

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A statement read: “This week, Willy Gnonto and his representatives were informed by the club that he would not be sold this summer.

Willy Gnonto. Picture: Getty Images.Willy Gnonto. Picture: Getty Images.
Willy Gnonto. Picture: Getty Images.

“Following those conversations, Willy felt he was unable to play in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup tie with Shrewsbury Town.

“Despite training for the last two days, Willy has informed Daniel Farke that he still does not feel able to play this weekend and has not travelled to Birmingham for the game tomorrow.

"This is now an internal disciplinary matter and the club will make no further comment, other than to reiterate that Willy is not for sale.”

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After sitting out the Shrews game, Gnonto – returned to training on Thursday. He started Sunday’s game with Cardiff City.

At his pre-match press conference, Leeds boss Daniel Farke commented: "Willy was in training today (Thursday), trained really well and let's see what happens for the weekend.

"All my players under contract are part of my plans and we respect all contracts. The first step is you have to train really well, and once you train really well you have the chance to get a spot in the group who travels to the games. Then you have the chance to play."