Leeds star Gnonto ‘asks 49ers owners to leave’ in January transfer window

Mauricio Pochettino returns to his former club Spurs this weekend | Football Digest

Wilfried Gnonto could be set to bring his time at Leeds United to a close after a new report claimed that he was ‘ready to say goodbye’ to the West Yorkshire club when the January transfer window opens.

And according to Tuttomercatoweb, Maurizio Sarri is considering bringing the winger back to Italy to play for his Lazio side in Serie A. The Italian outlet says that the 20-year-old prospect has again ‘asked to leave’ Elland Road as he is not starting matches in the Championship.

Although United are believed to recognise the value of Gnonto, mixed game time is a major issue for the Italian international who wants to ensure that he is in the frame to make it into Luciano Spalletti’s squad for Euro 2024 in Germany next summer.

It is claimed that contact has already been made between Leeds and representatives at Lazio, with the Rome-based club exploring the possability of a deal. But with Lazio president Claudio Lotito not known for spending big money in the middle of the season, the demands currently being made by Leeds are considered to be ‘outside the parameters’ that Lazio are prepared to meet.

Last week Corriere dello Sport claimed that reports of Gnonto moving to Serie A in January were only rumours, but Lazio’s pursuit of Champions League football could be the catalyst to accelerate the deal.

Other clubs are likely to show interest in the wantaway forward however, reportedly including Lazio’s capital rivals AS Roma, so it could be a case of now or never if Le Aquile really want to get their man.

Gnonto played in the Premier League with Leeds last season and made a lasting impression on Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville following their 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa in January. Having caused an abundance of problems for the Villa defence, he eventually provided the cross for Patrick Bamford to pull a goal back on the evening.

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Speaking about Gnonto, who was still 19 years old at the time, on Sky Sports after the match, Neville said: “To see someone so mature, so young is very unusual in that position. Sometimes you see potential and talent but watching him so closely, his understanding of where to be, his choice of pass, when to run with it, his awareness of teammates, really good, honestly.”

Gnonto has made nine appearances in the Championship for Leeds this season but started only six of them. His only goal of the current campaign came away to Ipswich Town on August 26.

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