Leeds United have ruled out selling Italian international Willy Gnonto this summer, despite reports in the Daily Mail suggesting the 19-year-old refused to be selected for yesterday’s League Cup tie against Shrewsbury Town.
Everton, Burnley and Aston Villa have been linked with Gnonto, who impressed during his first season at Leeds in the Premier League after signing from FC Zurich at the start of the last campaign.
Despite Gnonto’s eye-catching flashes, he was unable to save Leeds from relegation and his future has remained unclear since with a fire sale of players from Elland Road over the summer.
The Italian has stayed put as of now though with his contract for the Whites running until 2027, with the club’s hierarchy keen to keep a player who looked committed to the cause during the weekend’s opening league game of the season against Cardiff.
Gnonto started that game up front with Leeds short on strikers, but the winger has now seemingly changed his tune since the weekend if reports are to be believed.
Manager Daniel Farke confirmed in his post-match press conference after the 2-1 over Shrewsbury that Gnonto was not injured but was unavailable for selection, sparking more rumours around his future.
However, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed that San Francisco 49ers Enterprises, the new owners of Leeds United, are not interested in selling Gnonto.
This could be music to the ears of Leeds supporters, but things could become complicated if Gnonto has refused to play and continues to do so in the coming weeks.
If the rumours are true – cash in!
I for one do not want to see Willy leave, but if he doesn’t want to be here then move him on.
That might seem abrupt, but Daniel Farke is trying to build something at Leeds and, much in the same way as Marcelo Bielsa, he won’t stand in the way of any player wanting out.
There is no confirmation yet that Gnonto did refuse to play against Shrewsbury, but there is no smoke without fire and it is certainly disappointing to hear.
I think Gnonto starting up front against Cardiff at the weekend may have appealed to him, but having had a taste of just how tough the Championship is maybe he doesn’t fancy it?
Clearly he’s frustrated at the club for not even entertaining any of the offers so far, though the only one we know about is the £15 million bid from Everton three weeks ago.
All I ask is that if Gnonto does leave, don’t let him go on loan because we need the funds to rebuild the squad so it’s capable of promotion this season.
He’s an Italian international, he’s got a long contract and there are a few teams interested – I would like Leeds to get at least £25 million for Gnonto if he is sold this window.