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Mirco Antenucci continues excellent post-Leeds United career with new contract

The Italian striker has become a hero at current club SPAL.

Mathew Nash

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It would be fair to say that Mirco Antenucci has not let his exit from Leeds United halt his career. The Italian today signed a new deal with Serie A club SPAL. It keeps him with the club until the summer of 2020 – when he will be 35-years-old.

It signifies his importance to the side, who are currently engaged in a thrilling fight for top-flight survival in Italy. Antenucci is the club captain and played a key role in their promotion to Serie A last season. The Italian striker scored 18 goals last season and this season he has performed well in the top-flight. Antenucci has scored eight goals this season, making him the club’s top scorer.

For Leeds fans however, it will not come as a shock.

Antenucci was one of the few signings brought in under Massimo Cellino’s ownership that the fans really got behind.

The bearded striker was a popular figure at Elland Road because of his passionate displays and goalscoring prowess. The Italian was ruthless in front of goal, even if his figures only showed 19 goals in two Championship campaigns.

At the end of the 2015-16 season Antenucci’s contract was up at Leeds and the club did not tie him down to a new one. The striker, who had just had a newborn baby, wanted to head back to Italy.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Mirco Antenucci of Leeds applauds the fans following the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on November 29, 2014 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

But Leeds fans will wish they had Antenucci at the club now. The striker is enjoying a traditional Italian striker’s Indian summer at the moment. Leeds meanwhile have lacked goals, since the departure of Antenucci’s former team-mate Chris Wood to Burnley.

An experienced Serie A captain who is still scoring goals – Leeds United must wish Antenucci had wanted to stay in West Yorkshire.

Brentford

One winner and one loser as Florian Jozefzoon chooses Derby over Leeds

The 27-year-old looks set to sign for the Rams.

Max Cohen

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Jozefzoon
Photo: Getty Images

When Brentford confirmed on Wednesday that the club had accepted a bid for attacker Florian Jozefzoon, it seemed Derby County were the frontrunners.

However, reports of a Leeds United bid added to the transfer drama, before Jozefzoon eventually chose the Rams over Elland Road, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The reported decision would come as a severe blow to Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United, as the club would miss out on yet another transfer target this summer.

However, Frank Lampard and Derby County will be delighted at another transfer coup, as the allure of the England legend is proving to be a great way of attracting players to Pride Park.

(Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Loser: Leeds fans

Although there are still a number of weeks left in the window, Leeds supporters are right to be worried about the lack of permanent signings.

So far, the club have made just two loan agreements with Lewis Baker and Jamal Blackman of Chelsea. While the two are certainly smart acquisitions, they are not of the quality that will fire Leeds to promotion.

There is still no need to panic, as Marcelo Bielsa will surely attract some top talent as well— but to see their direct Championship rivals beat them to Jozefzoon will be worrying.

Winner: Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend has done it again. After securing the double loan swoop of promising youngsters Harry Wilson and Mason Mount, Lampard looks set to acquire the services of the former Dutch Under-21 international.

In his first transfer window as a manager, Lampard has done well to convince key targets to join his project at Pride Park, a valuable skill that will serve him well in his coaching career.

Derby now look set to mount a serous promotion challenge; Leeds will have to strengthen further to be able to say the same.

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Aston Villa

Keeping Henri Lansbury could be blessing in disguise for Aston Villa

Aston Villa cannot find a buyer for the midfield maestro.

Mathew Nash

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Aston Villa’s financial troubles this summer seem to have them ready to sell some of their high-earners and more valuable assets.

The Mirror report today that midfielders Mile Jedinak and Birkir Bjarnason could be out the door this summer, with Jack Grealish currently in talks with Tottenham Hotspur.

However, the same report suggests Henri Lansbury will be sticking around.

However, it does not seem that Aston Villa want to keep him.

The report claims they will only be keeping the £2.7 million midfielder because nobody is willing to pay up to sign the player or take on his £40k-a-week wages.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

It is certainly no surprise to hear that Aston Villa want to offload Lansbury. He struggled to play a part in Steve Bruce’s plans after joining from Nottingham Forest.

Last season he played just 10 times for the club and has struggled since arriving at Villa Park.

But fans of Aston Villa must remember just how impressive a player Lansbury has been in the Championship.

In the 2015-16 season, there was a case to say that the then-Forest midfielder was the best in the division. In fact, many neutrals would have suggested that Lansbury was the Championship’s best midfielder just two years ago.

It could be that keeping Lansbury will be a blessing in disguise for Aston Villa. If he can find his Forest form, then he will be like a new signing for the club.

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Leeds United

Leeds United round-up: Heckingbottom on Bielsa backing, Jozefzoon miss and Diagne wages

All the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Heckingbottom speaks  

Former boss Paul Heckingbottom has spoken publicly for the first time since departing Leeds United in June. He was let go at the start of June after failing to turnaround Leeds results significantly in a four-month spell.

He told talkSPORT that he suffered from a ‘change of direction’ from the club.

He was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa this summer and hopes the Argentine will get the backing he deserves at the club.


“He should be saying the same things I was saying and hopefully he gets the backing and the support to make changes and give the fans there what they’re crying out for.”


(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Jozefzoon to Derby

Leeds United will not be signing Florian Jozefzoon this summer. The Dutchman has been linked with a move to Elland Road this summer. Yesterday, it was reported a deal had been agreed between his current club Brentford and an unnamed Championship side.

That team is not Leeds, but Derby County.

As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the winger is set to join the Rams for a fee in the region of £2.75 million, despite Leeds showing late interest.

Diagne wage trouble

Leeds have been linked with a move for Kasimpasa striker Mbaye Diagne this week. However, a report today suggests a stumbling block.

Turkish Football suggest he will cost around £3.6 million but that Leeds will struggle to afford his wages as talks get advanced.

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