Leeds United: Ross McCormack not for sale

Ross McCormack preparing to take a penalty for Leeds United

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has stated his intention to keep club captain Ross McCormack at Elland Road.

The 27-year old, reportedly a target for former side Cardiff, as well as Fulham and Norwich, has been the centre of intense transfer speculation since the end of the 2013/14 season - during which he scored 28 league goals in 46 Championship appearances.

The Scottish international is said to be keen on a move away from the struggling Yorkshire based club, and he reportedly handed in a transfer request on 20th June - just days before the players travelled to Italy for a pre-season training camp.

It is well known that McCormack did not travel with the rest of Dave Hockaday's squad, and many have presumed that his expulsion hints at the closing of his career as a Leeds player.

Despite McCormack's apparent intention to leave, club owner Massimo Cellino has spoken many times of his desire to rebuild Leeds around the current captain, once stating to BBC Radio Leeds that only a big club would be allowed to sign the star striker.

The Italian businessman said: "If Liverpool, Real Madrid or Paris St-Germain came in I couldn't say to him no, but if another Championship club came in, McCormack belongs to Leeds."

However, Cellino's words have had little impact on the clubs targeting the Scotsman, and following a further increase in transfer speculation, officials at Elland Road have felt it apt to release a statement responding to the media treatment concerning the players future.

Released on the official club website, leedsunited.com, the statement read: "Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino and the club would like to respond to recent media speculation regarding Ross McCormack.

We would like to reiterate our desire to keep Ross McCormack at Leeds United. This desire includes keeping all of our best players as we look to build a stronger and successful squad for the 2014/15 Championship season.

Leeds United may not be the richest club in the Championship, but we do not need to sell our best players in order to run the club successfully."

Despite the claims of Cellino, it still appears likely that McCormack will be leaving Elland Road this summer.

Having requested a transfer, there is no need to keep an unhappy player against his will, and if the reported £10 million fee that Leeds are requesting is invested wisely, they may just be able to build a squad capable of returning to the Premier League.

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