Massimo Cellino’s near three-year ownership of Leeds United could be set to come to a close amid a string of reports in the Italian media on Wednesday.
The Italian’s tenure at Elland Road has been nothing short of tumultuous and news that Cellino – through his family’s trust Eleonora Sport Ltd – is set to relinquish his holdings at the club will come as a huge relief to their supporters who have long campaigned to have him removed.
According to calciomercato, Cellino is understood to have agreed the sale of Leeds to another Italian, Andrea Radrizzani, who is the president of the MP & Silva Media empire.
Radrizzani has been seen at several Leeds games recently and his purchase of the club would not come as a huge shock to those who have been following the Cellino saga closely.
The Italian publication also understands that Cellino is drawing closer to becoming a major shareholder at Serie B Brescia – details of which first emerged at the back end of last week.
The club are owned by Marco Bonometti and UBI Bank, who are a principal sponsor of the club and major creditor to the team from Lombardy.
Cellino has reportedly been locked in talks with the club and it’s reported in Italy that an agreement is imminent, which in turn will lead to confirmation that his sale of the Yorkshiremen to Radrizzani has also been agreed.
Cellino primed Leeds for a takeover back in September when it was announced he had bought 100% of the club from Gulf Finance House, who had previously retained 20% of their shares.
GFH – the Bahrain-based investment bank – bought Leeds from Ken Bates in the winter of 2012 before selling a majority stake to current owner Massimo Cellino in January 2014.
Leeds fans have been extremely vocal in their protests of the Cellino regime, having pulled of a number of high-profile stunts.
The most successful of these was back in February when the ‘Time To Go Massimo’ group projected an image protesting against the Italian onto the club’s East Stand during a home game with Middlesbrough.
Red Bull sniffing around in England again
Meanwhile, reports in the Daily Mail claim Energy drink giants Red Bull are once again planning to add to their portfolio of football teams around the world by buying an English club.
Red Bull, one of the biggest global sponsors of sport, have stated that England is the next football territory on their radar during recent talks with clubs about players.
The brand have been heavily linked with Leeds United over the years, but it is not thought the Yorkshire side are in their sights.
However, the speculation has intensified with Red Bull’s football guru Ralf Rangnick, director of sport at RB Leipzig, coming over to watch three games last weekend at Chelsea, Charlton and Brentford.
Charlton sources say Rangnick’s visit was to watch their rated winger Ademola Lookman, an England Under 19 international.