Leeds United face competition in the form of Cagliari in their chase to sign Sassuolo striker Leonardo Pavoletti, according to Italian journalist
Leeds have been chasing the player since deadline day at the end of the summer transfer window, when the window slammed shut before they could secure his signature on loan.
The club had previously converted the loan deals for Souleymane Doukara and Guiseppe Bellusci into permanent transfers to free up space to sign Pavoletti and bolster their ranks of strikers.
He has emerged as a key target for Leeds going into the winter transfer window, despite the fact the Elland Road club have a transfer embargo hanging over them from the Football League.
They now face competition from owner Massimo Cellino’s former club Cagliari for his signature.
Leeds lost 1-0 against Premier League side Sunderland in the FA Cup third round on Sunday afternoon.
The Whites have only scored one goal in their last six games, which was a penalty scored by Billy Sharp against Nottingham Forest.
Leeds United are said to be optimistic about securing two half season long loan deals for Leonardo Pavoletti and Rene Krhin, according to Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The Elland Road club go into tonight’s clash with Derby County marooned towards the bottom half of the table, a far cry from the optimism that surrounded the team after their 2-0 home win against Steve McClaren’s side only a month ago.
Since then, Neil Redfearn’s side have not won a single game or drawn a match.
As a result, despite the transfer embargo facing them in the January transfer window, they are expected to make some signings.
Two positions that have been targeted for improvements are midfield and up front.
Pavoletti was a player that Leeds targeted in the summer, and they narrowly missed out on signing him on transfer deadline day.
Krhin is a player who has only recently been linked with Leeds.
Both could now be added when the transfer window rolls around, with loan spells with a view to a permanent deal the likely outcome.
Nicola Salerno, who is expected to join Leeds United in an official capacity as sporting director, is pressing on in his pursuit of Italian talent to join the Yorkshire giants, according to Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato, as reported by Inside Futbol.
With a deal seemingly tied up for former Italian U-21 goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, Salerno is looking to recruit more talent from Italy to bolster a squad that needs significant improvement. Elsewhere, Leeds have officially agreed the signing of Stuart Taylor, who won the Premier League twice while at Arsenal, although it seems as though he will be second choice.
A number of new players have emerged on Salerno’s radar, as he seeks to improve Massimo Cellino’s new club’s options.
24-year-old midfielder Marco Crimi is one of those linked. He was on loan at Serie B side US Latina Calcio last season. Crimi has also made 13 appearances for the Italian U-21 side, including representing them at the 2013 European Championships in Israel.
Matteo Mancosu has also been targeted by Salerno. The prolific striker scored 28 goals for Trapani last season as they narrowly avoided relegation from Serie B. The 29-year-old scored 17 the year prior.
Leeds also maintain an interest in Mirco Antenucci of Ternana and Sassuolo’s Leonardo Pavoletti.