Leeds sign Italian midfielder Andrea Tabanelli on loan as manager Brian McDermott is sacked by prospective new owners

McDermott left the club late on Friday night as Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino prepares to complete a takeover of Leeds United

The Italian takeover of Leeds gained another member on Saturday morning as Cagliari confirmed that Andrea Tabanelli had joined the Championship club on loan.

The arrival of the unknown 23-year-old midfielder comes as the owner of his parent club, Massimo Cellino, prepares to complete a controversial 75 per cent purchase of the West Yorkshire side.

Cellino has already made his presence felt at Elland Road by overseeing the departure of manager Brian McDermott on a chaotic Friday night, which also saw club sponsors promise to walk away and the police called as fans protested against their likely new owner.

The takeover by Cellino, a 57-year-old agricultural entrepreneur who is known in Cagliari as 'The King of Corn' has not been officially completed, has not been ratified by the Football League and has a rival.

It us understood, though, that the club's wantaway owners, Gulf Finance House, favour Cellino's bid to the extent where the allowed him to remove McDermott and, according to so-far unconfirmed reports, chief executive Paul Hunt who had earlier shown them around the club.

Cellino's long-standing friend, the former Middlesbrough defender Gianluca Festa is likely to manage the team for their Saturday afternoon derby match with Huddersfield having observed training for the last week - something McDermott had objected to.

It looks as though he could have Tabanelli at his disposal too, with Cagliari saying on their official website on Saturday: "Cagliari Calcio announce that the player Andrea Tabanelli was sold to Leeds United on loan."

Press Association Sport understands that McDermott was told on Friday that he would have to accept a number of Italian players at the club, having already resisted attempts for Festa to join him in the dugout for the midweek draw with Ipswich.

It took the Serie A club to announce the news with Leeds in virtual lockdown.

The club's website has not been updated since Friday afternoon to the extent where the main story on it features McDermott talking about the Huddersfield game. The club have not been able to provide any official comment.

McDermott spoke himself briefly on Friday to thank the fans for their support, before the a section of the same supporters attempted to barricade Cellino inside Elland Road as he held late-night talks. The police were called to see off the protest.

Off-the-field drama is nothing new at Leeds where financial stories have overshadowed football ones for a decade, but this one appears to be treading new ground.

Cellino, who has a previous conviction for fraud, moved into the driving seat to take over on Thursday after a consortium of club managing director David Haigh and club sponsor Andrew Flowers, named Sport Capital, collapsed after two months of exclusivity to complete a buyout.

Flowers, owner of Enterprise Insurance, is said to be on the verge of joining Flamingo Land in withdrawing his backing of the club, while it is also expected he will legally challenge Cellino's takeover.

Another group, led by former Manchester United director Mike Farnan and including ex-Leeds captain Lucas Radebe, is still hoping to speak with GFH about usurping Cellino's offer, but it us understood the Italian is the favoured option.

Festa was on Saturday morning attempting to meet with the Leeds players at their Thorp Arch training ground to try and offer some clarity.

 

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker