When Andrea Radrizzani took over Leeds United, the Italian businessman brought with him a plan and some promises. The plan worked; the promises have been adhered to. When his predecessor, Massimo Cellino, came to Leeds United he brought with him madness, court cases and a truckload of Italian players of varying degrees of quality.
Only Mirko Antenucci and Gaetano Berardi were much cop. In all honesty, and only Berardi has survived the test of time and is still at the club. Injured with a ligament rupture but at the club all the same. All the others have gone, faded into varying forms and degrees of obscurity.
Yet, Italy suddenly seems to be a very popular place for Leeds United to be showing their interest of late. It is in that most Mediterranean of countries that they currently are said to have three irons in the fire.
Iron no.1 – First Choice: Rodrigo de Paul (Udinese): Said to be joining, said not to be joining, a flurry of social media activity, said to be joining again and repeat until fade. Leeds United are said to have baulked at the asking price that Udinese were said to have set, reported to be around the £36m mark. Now, it appears, the current thinking is that he will be joining Leeds United. However, the article linkng him also says the Whites have a Plan B.
Iron no.2 Plan B: Erick Pulgar (Fiorentina): Sources in Italy are saying that should De Paul dig his feet in much longer, then Leeds will turn to 26-year-old Chilean Pulgar who signed for Fiorentina from fellow Italians Bologna last August for £9m. He’s joined Bologna from Chilean side CDUC for £2m in August 2015. He has 137 games of Serie A experience tucked into his belt, scoring 17 goals and providing 8 assists in that time. Featured in 37 Serie A games last season, scoring 7 goals and providing 6 assists.
Iron no.3 Plan C: Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta): 27-year-old Malinovskyi has been at Atalanta since last July, joining the Italians from KRC Genk in Belgium for £12.2m. He’d been at the Jupiler League club for two years after a £1.8m move from Shaktar Donetsk in his native Ukraine. In last season’s Serie A, the Ukrainian made 38 appearances, scoring 8 goals and providing 5 assists.