Massimo Cellino and Nicola Salerno looked set to press on with their Italian revolution at Leeds by bringing in 22-year-old Roma midfielder Federico Viviani on loan.
Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi, Souleymane Doukara and Gaetano Berardi have already arrived from the peninsula this summer and Viviani looked primed to join the quartet as a top target for the Yorkshire club.
The Giallorossi youngster’s agent confirmed interest from the Whites last month and his signing looked imminent over the past weeks - but on Saturday Cellino said there would be no move.
He rather bluntly told the Yorkshire Post: “I’ve already decided. He is out.”
With Viviani’s proposed Elland Road switch having gone the way of Jonathan Rossini’s similarly failed move, however, Cellino doesn’t seem content to sit back.
SkySports have now indicated that Leeds are 'closing in' on completing a deal to take 18-year-old Milan midfielder Zan Benedicic on loan.
Whilst Viviani is more of a box-to-box presence in the centre of the park, Benedicic is an attacking midfielder who has carved out a fine reputation for himself in Milan’s Primavera side.
Earlier in the month Italian sources claimed that Leeds had enquired after the Slovenian’s availability with Milan - so it’s possible negotiations had been brewing alongside those for Viviani.
At any rate, Cellino has seemed determined to get his hands on a highly-rated youngster from one of the Italian top flight’s giants and with Viviani not arriving from Roma, Benedicic fits the bill in that regard with his Diavolo status.
Benedicic is yet to feature in the first team for Milan - Viviani boasts both Serie A and Serie B experience - and Milan as such are reportedly content to see him cut his teeth in the Championship with Leeds.