Leeds United have today confirmed the purchase of 50% of the club to Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani.
The purchase will see Eleanor's Sports holding of Leeds United fall to a half split between current owner Massimo Cellino and the incoming Radrizzani.
The deal has been purchased through one of Radrizzani's companies named Aser Group, which also includes another company called Greenfield Investment Ltd, based in Singapore. Aser Media currently owns Eleven Sports Network and Play for Change; both are becoming pivotal within the footballing world.
The deal brings to light a story that has been circulating among both fans and the media since early August in which Radrizzani has attended many games throughout this current season.
Radrizzani has already spoke about his support of the club and the current form of both the players and current head coach Garry Monk.
The 42-year old businessman, who founded international sports agency MP & Silva with fellow partners Ricarrdo Silva and Carlo Pozzali back in 2004.
MP & Silva is now one of the largest companies to distribute the tv rights to international sports including football, tennis and motor sports. The current agreement has seen the Serie A, Belgian Pro League and even distributes the rights of the Premier League to over 51 territories.
Radrizzani is a founding partner of the sports consultancy and main shareholder of the club. He recently saw the sale of 65% of MP&Silva to Chinese investment in an estimated $1 Billion buyout (£658mil).
Although there is no defined NET worth for Radrizzani himself, he posted a net gain of £350million in 2014 and with the continuing growth and recent controlling sale of MP & Silva to Chinese investment, there's no doubt that he has the capabilities to finance a football club.
A recent transfer of ownership to a 50/50 split will see Cellino still oversee some affairs at Leeds United prior to his current FA ban in February.
The recent purchase will see both Radrizzani and Cellino work in unison, with any major decision falling to the new incoming partner Radrizzani.
There is also a reported agreement to complete the purchase at the end of the season that will depend on the clubs finishing position and potential promotion.
Coming into to a new club can always take time, but the fact that this move has been confirmed early on in January while the club are on a very successful run of form can only bring more benefits to Leeds United. Radrizzani will want to be very active in the running of Leeds United and this may help current partner Massimo Cellino, who has taken a large step back from current activities as the Leeds President.
The arrival of a new partner may result in minor changes to the current Leeds set up at board level but I doubt that anything will change at coaching level.
The major benefit of Radrizzani's arrival in January may result in a more positive outlook in the January transfer window. The permanent signings of both Jansson and Hernandez along with new faces will surely be handled by the new part-owner.
We may even see the current stars of the squad be handed new contracts along with an extension for head coach Garry Monk.
Whatever happens, the current mood at LS11 could not get better and with positives moves in the boardroom following positive performances on the pitch, it's a good time to be Lufc.
Still marching on, but to a new tune!
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds confirm that Pablo Hernandez has signed a six month contract with a option of another year.
One down, a few more hopefully in the 'pipeline'.
FA Cup Round 3
Team News: Eight changes, Silvestri, Denton, Cooper, Mowatt, Phillips, Grimes, Dallas and Antonsson come in.
Team: Silvestri, Berardi, Jansson, Cooper(c), Denton, Grimes, Phillips, Mowatt, Dallas, Doukara, Antonsson.
From the off the home side penned back Leeds but Antonsson for Leeds shock the woodwork in the early minutes, after that the second division side seized on every misplaced Leeds pass - and there were plenty of them. Phillips, Jansson (he now is suspended for two games for reaching ten games) and Berardi went into the referee's note book for late challenges.
It wasn't a surprise when Cambridge went in front, the goalscorer Ikpeazu beat Silvestri following a half cleared corner and they deserved the half time lead, Leeds were disappointing to say the least.
As in a few games this season the second forty five minutes were immeasurably better by Leeds, first to the ball and busier in midfield. They were level just before the hour mark, Stuart Dallas heading in Alex Mowatt's superb cross, Cambridge were struggling to keep up with their visitors and Man of the Match Alex Mowatt headed in a goal bound effort from Pontus Jansson to give Leeds the lead.
Leeds lost Liam Cooper late in the game through injury with could cause Garry Monk a headache when picking the team on Friday.
When Alex Mowatt broke through in the 2013/14 season we rightly thought he was another that was rolling off the Academy that was destined to go to the top of his trade, the Donnie lad with the swagger akin to the late Gary Speed.
Although not blessed with the Welshman's pace, he had a sweet left peg and great things were expected in the forthcoming seasons.
It just didn't develop, yes he's scored some incredible goals with that left peg but his performances have dipped so much that this season he's been a bit-part player in the recent superb run the team has had.
The biggest problem that successive manager's have had is where to play him. He's not fast enough on either wing and not as combative as either Kalvin Phillips or Ronaldo Vieira for the middle two places in the 4-2-3-1 formation used by Garry Monk.
Last night he played just behind Marcus Antonsson and had freedom to move wherever he wanted to go, which he did immeasurably better than the other nine outfield players in a very disappointing first half by the men in white.
In the second half he 'ghosted' past a defender to put a cross on the head of Stuart Dallas to equalise and had the common sense to quickly make sure that Pontus Jansson's header towards goal went in for certain.
He was everywhere and seemed to enjoy his 'outing' after quite a while outside the first eleven, maybe he's not Pablo Hernandez, but who is?! However, he offers an option when the Spaniard is out injured, which happens pretty regularly unfortunately.
The other option in Hernandez's position has been Kemar Roofe and the three million pound summer signing has also done well in the 'number ten' role, two options is better than one I've always thought. Roofe has shown that he can be very versatile so maybe the both could be played when needed.
I'm happy Alex Mowatt grabbed his opportunity with legs and his head, maybe, just maybe Monk has found the position many manager's just couldn't find.
Good to have you back Alex.
By Keith Ingham
Andrew Butterwick's hopes for Leeds United in 2017
Thank you Andrew.
Leeds United vs Rotherham United
Can you believe it? Another game at home and another sell out! Fantastic support from the Leeds faithful!
Team news: Three changes, Bartley, Hernandez, Wood replace Cooper, Vieira, Dallas, who drop to the substitutes bench.
Team: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, Bridcutt(c), Hernandez, Sacko, Roofe, Doukara, Wood.
The first half disappointed, too many passes going astray and it was the away side that so nearly went in front, the shot that thumped a post leaving Leeds fans slightly worried. Even after a poor first half no boos greeted the referees whistle at the break, encouragement was offered as the players left the field.
Ronaldo Vieira restored balance in the Leeds engine room and within minutes they were ahead; a 'bullet' header from Kyle Bartley to take his tally to four for the season.
Leeds then started to play with style and it was only a matter of time that the lead was increased by Chris Wood, his fifteenth and sixteenth goals increased the lead to three.
Plenty of 'ole's' were heard as Leeds totally controlled the second period, even Berardi, up from left back smacked the post as Leeds threatened to run riot against the bottom club. Hernandez too took paint off a post with a late free kick.
A very satisfying win.
Kyle Bartley heads the opening goal
Garry Monk: thought Leeds were very lucky to come in at the break with the score 0-0, thought Leeds 'bossed' second half, Hernandez expected to sign a permanent deal as his loan deal has ended, Jansson will sign at the right time.
Looking at signing one or two players in the January transfer window, doesn't believe the window is a good time to buy players, O'Kane and Coyle back training, Taylor's injury may rule him out until the Derby game.
He ended by saying; "We don’t have to sell anyone and we won’t be selling anyone. It’ll only be in-comings. There’ll be no-one leaving in this window, this includes Charlie Taylor and every single player who's in the squad at the current time".
A extremely happy Monk.
Paul Warne (Caretaker boss, Rotherham): Told Garry Monk that Leeds were lucky to go into the break at 0-0 and added that he thought that any one of his team could get into the Leeds starting eleven. "Many might not agree, but I've got a good group of players".
Andrew Butterwick's reflections on yesterday's 3-0 victory over Rotherham United
Here's to the good times Andrew.
Jansson's agent, Martin Dahlin, said a three-year deal is agreed with Leeds and ready for Jansson to sign after his 22nd appearance. It was generally thought that after his twentieth game (Rotherham) would trigger the four million Euro transfer fee, no comment from the club.
Hull City sack Mike Phelan after only five months in the job.
A little later than usual, Heidi Haigh's blog on the 3-0 demolition of Rotherham United
Seeing the start of 2017 in style. Thank you Heidi.
Anybody expect this news? Maybe a couple of people on Twitter ;)
New year, new owner and possibly new players this January for Leeds United, that seems to be the idea anyway.
With every transfer window Leeds are linked to possible transfers, whether they be Alan Smith or Jermaine Beckford being linked to an emotional return to Elland Road or a random Italian from Serie B linked to a move out of the blue to Yorkshire's finest.
This window however there will be no Edgar Cani's joining Leeds in a last minute deal. This time, we really could see Leeds bring in some players that will not only benefit the squad, but challenge for a place in the first team picture.
We've already been linked to moves for talented players like Dave Nugent and a loan move for talented Arsenal centre back Rob Holding hit the headlines, which are encouraging signs.
The one deal that does seem to have some traction is the proposed move for formerly linked striker Ashley Fletcher. The former scum forward was linked to a move to Elland Road after deciding to turn down a fresh offer from United to find the opportunity of first team football.
Fletcher has since had egg on his face after turning down an offer from Leeds in July to sign for current Premier League strugglers West Ham, who he has hardly featured for.
Leeds are now linked with an offer in the region of £1.5-2million for the young forwards services, but a loan move could be more viable for both sides.
Fletcher scored 9 goals in 27 appearances while on loan at Barnsley last season and still has some growth to continue, spending a large amount of money on him could be a risk.
Next on the list is Alexandru Maxim. The talented midfielder who can be played as a left sided midfielder or a number 10 does seem like he would add both flair and talent to our squad.
Garry Monk has previously been interested in bribing Maxim to English football while in charge of his previous club Swansea and this wouldn't be the first time a previous target of the boss has been brought to the club, Antonsson ring a bell?
The 26-year old is a constant attracting threat and could add another player to the Leeds squad that is playing way below his level. The likes of Hernandez, Bridcutt, O'Kane, Bartley and Jansson are all players that could play at the top leagues across Europe.
Maxim has shown in his three seasons at Stuttgart that he has the ability to provide both goals and assists to his game and that's what Garry Monk will be looking at adding to his squad as we progress further in the promotion pack.
Maxim is currently contracted till July 2019 and therefore any fee is expected to be quite considerable should we pursue the deal and with Hull City set to approach the player too, the likelihood of this deal does not look good.
The final rumour is absurd yet believable all tied up in a pretty little story. Recently the odds on Leeds signing Middlesbrough's out of favour striker Jordan Rhodes have been slashed.
Leeds started off as outsiders at 28-1 for the talented forwards signature but are now tied third favourites to sign Rhodes with Hull City at 12-1.
With Boro claiming they want to recoup the £13million spent on the player last January I can't see this deal going ahead, but what a statement it would be!
Rhodes is one of them players that if you have bags of
money and are looking for promotion, he's at the top of your list.
The 26-year old has proved on several occasions that he has the ability to score at the Championship level and could be a real statement should he join the club.
Personally Idon't see any traction in this deal, it would be an inspired signing for the club, but the financials just don't suit us at this moment in time.
So so there you have it, three of the more rumoured signings that have been linked with moves to Elland Road since the January window opened.
Do you think any of these deals could be successful and which would you prefer to see? Who do you know that Leeds are linked with? Have your say on the comments below!
By Ryan Ingham
With the recent news last week of Luke Murphy's departure and the confirmation of Pablo Hernandez's permanent acquisition, a somewhat quiet transfer window could turn into a very busy one for Garry Monk and co.
The recent purchase of 50% of the clubs shares by Andrea Radrizzani is set to hand Garry Monk a sizeable budget to work with as Leeds continue to challenge for a playoff finish this season, something neither Monk or Cellino would have expected last July.
Leeds have a stronger squad this season but more importantly a happier team that are enjoying playing for the badge on the shirt and the coach in the dressing room and you can't buy that.
However, I still expect a few moves in and out this window as Garry Monk looks to streamline his squad. The likes of Ross Turnbull and Toumani Diagouraga definitely heading for the exit door whether it be on loan or permanently.
Monk even mentioned in his pre- Cambridge press talk that their are players within his squad that do not serve a purpose and could leave before the end of the transfer window.
We could also see loan moves for some of the young talent available to the first team be sent out on loan to gain first team experience.
Tyler Denton could still see a loan move materialise along with the likes of Malik Wilks, Jack Vann, Eoghan Stokes and Paul McKay could follow his brother Jacks footsteps in joining a club on loan to gain some first team opportunities.
The final departure that I could still see materialise is want-away left back Charlie Taylor leaving for what he would class as a higher class of football.
There's been no doubt all season that Taylor wants out of Leeds United and although I'd hate to see another academy star depart the club on the cheap, some of his performances this season have left little to be proud of.
Taylor is a brilliant talent and it would be a shame to let him go, but I do think that not allowing him to leave could see the player revolt and the feel good factor in the dressing room to drop. .
We've shown in the past couple of games that we can perform without the marauding left back and I do believe that both Berardi and Denton can fill his spot with ease.
The reality of the matter is, the talent that came in this summer far out ways the talent that left for pastures new. Replacing the likes of Sol Bamba and Giuseppe Bellusci with the powerful duo of Bartley and Jansson was a master stroke. Who's to say we can't do the same with replacing Taylor?
Whatever happens this window, I'm sure that fans will be a lot happier with the outcome compared to previous seasons. Leeds are entering the window in a stronger position than usual and that's something to be excited about.
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds United have today confirmed the signing of Pablo Hernandez on an initial six month contract.
Hernandez, who had initially joined the club on loan in the summer has made the switch permanent after cutting short a spell with Qatar club Al-Arabi after joining the club in 2014.
The deal also has an option for Leeds to extend the playmakers contract for another 12 months, taking him until at least the end of the 2017/18 season.
The fee has not been announced but the initial deal was said to be around £1million which had previously been agreed in the summer prior to his signing and at that price, he's definitely one of the bargains of the season.
The 31-year old has enjoyed a good start to his now prolonged spell with Leeds United, having featured in 18 games this season, contributing 3 assists and 3 goals that will surely be goal of the season contenders come May.
The former Valencia and Swansea winger has found a somewhat redemption in English football having fallen out of favour with the later mentioned club. Leaving for pastures new and Qatar football in back in July 2014. Hernandez then saw loan spells to Al-Nasr and Rayo Vallecano before joining the Whites this summer.
His skill on the ball and knowledge of the game have been a blessing for Garry Monks side and he has played a big part in the clubs brilliant performance in the league this season.
Capped four times by Spain and with previous experience in both the Premier League and La Liga, it's clear to see that Hernandez's ability far outshines the current league that he is playing in (but don't tell him that!).
The permanent signing of such an influential and talented player can only be a blessing for Leeds United and if their first move into the transfer market is making Hernandez permanent, then we are in for a good transfer window this January.
Speaking on his recent signing, Hernandez said; "I knew I initially came her on loan for six months, but in my mind I always wanted to stay here for longer.
"Leeds has unbelievable fans, an unbelievable stadium, a really good training ground and very professional staff and I really like all of this."
I think I speak for many when I welcome this signing, Pablo is a fantastic talent and a born professional in football, not only can he make results on the pitch, but the ability to have such talent around Thorp Arch can only be good news for the young players who get to watch and train with him.
Let's hope the next signing we talk about is even better, Jansson permanent or even a fresh face, it's sure to be an exciting time at Elland Road!
By Ryan Ingham
Garry Monk on the trip over the Pennines to face Preston North End on Boxing Day: Both Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor are fit for the Preston game, O'Kane misses out again but could be fit for the home game with Rotherham in the New Year, "Woody's injury wasn't as serious as we first thought which is great news."
Taking games as they come, three points is all that matters, on Taylor, needs 'wrapping in cotton wool' and that Leeds won't loose players but will hopefully add to the squad, Hernandez is also fit to be in contention for the game on Boxing Day, made a good point saying "I don't agree that Christmas is a defining point of the season, not at all." and ended with a message for the fans "Keep coming to the games, you have been great"
A Merry Christmas Monk.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL 🍾
Head to Head
Preston 23 wins
Leeds wins 18
Last Five games
Preston 1 Leeds 1 Champ 16
Leeds 1 Preston 0 Champ 15
Preston 1 Leeds 2 Champ 11
Leeds 4 Preston 6 Champ 10
Leeds 2 Preston 1 Champ 07
Leeds will want to continue their impressive pre Christmas run results when they travel 'over the border' to Preston, buoyed by over five thousand travelling fans they have a excellent chance against their old manager's team. Like most games in this league Preston, on their day are a good side.
With a multitude of links through playing, managerial and boardroom they will want to put one over their former employers.
I see a close game with Leeds edging it by the odd goal in three. Leeds 2-1.
Preston v Leeds
Team news: Two changes, Bridcutt and Berardi replace Vieira and Taylor. Hernandez and Wood on the bench.
Team: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, Bridcutt(c), Phillips, Sacko, Roofe, Dallas, Doukara.
Leeds without doubt were 'up for this', three goals in less than ten minutes made for a entertaining first period, firstly Roofe made sure that Pontus Jansson's header was a goal, then he superbly set up Hadi Sacko for Leeds' second goal.
There was a moment of uncertainty in the usually resolute back line to let the home side back in the game, before 'Sully' Doukara's splendid finish restored the two goal lead. Preston in the second half tested Green and he repelled them in style.
The game's big talking point came when Beckford lashed out at Bartley after a clash on the touch line, the striker had just come back into their squad after a three match ban for fighting with one of his teammates. Hernandez finished the home team off late on with a splendid finish, following a flowing Leeds move.
A superb win.
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