Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb have claimed that former Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino is looking to raid his old side, and sign defender Gaetano Berardi for a second time – by luring him to newly-promoted Brescia.
Berardi, 30, was one of a number of signings made by controversial owner Cellino in his first summer at the Yorkshire club. The one-time Switzerland international joined Leeds for a bargain fee from Sampdoria.
He has since clocked up 130 appearances for Leeds in five years, becoming a fan favourite at Elland Road for his passionate, heart-on-the-sleeve displays. He has also proved a useful tool, being able to play anywhere in defence.
But injury has prevented Berardi from managing more than 15 appearances in all competitions. His last outing has made Leeds fans question his future, after he was sent off needlessly in the play-off semi-final against Derby.
Equalling Alan Smith’s record for seven red cards in a Leeds shirt, some fans have suggested that he should leave the club this summer. With his contract expiring in the summer of 2020, he might just do that.
Berardi has been excellent for Leeds over the years, giving the Yorkshire side a bit of bite and being able to fill in at right-back or left-back – and even centre-back under Marcelo Bielsa.
Bielsa likes to have players that are versatile and that may seem the Argentine boss tempted to keep him at Elland Road. But the red card against Derby was unforgivable.
Brescia are likely to be building a side capable of avoiding Serie A relegation next season after winning the second tier. Top-flight football will be tempting for Berardi, and Leeds should let him go.