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Italy youth international explains Leeds snub: 'A choice of the heart'

After completing his move to Latina, Federico Viviani explained why he chose the Serie B outfit over Leeds United.

Massimo Cellino has dipped heavily into the Italian market to strengthen Leeds this summer, making use of the contacts he made during his 22 years as owner of Cagliari.

The 58-year-old - alongside sporting director Nicola Salerno - has already imported five players from the peninsula thus far, with Zan Benedicic the latest capture on loan from AC Milan.

Whilst Leeds were wrapping up negotiations for Benedicic in the past weeks however, talks for marquee target Federico Viviani, an Italy U-21 international, began to break down.

The Roma-owned youngster was believed to be close to joining the Whites on loan, only for Cellino to become turned off by alleged ‘demands’ made by the midfielder late in negotiations.

It’s now been confirmed that Viviani has instead moved to Latina on loan, where he spent the second half of the 2013-14 campaign on loan with great success.

And in a statement published on the club’s official website, the 22-year-old spelled out his reasons for opting for a Stadio Demonico Francioni return over an Elland Road adventure.

He commented: ‘My choice was one from the heart. Initially, it was my intention to leave Italy, but then after thinking about it I was convinced the best thing for me was to come back to Latina.

‘I had a great time last year. I also had great confidence in me from all parts of the club and the coach really wanted me; I feel honoured and proud of this estimation of me.

‘Eventually the heart prevailed: I made a choice dictated by the affection I have for Latina, for the leadership and for the fans.

‘Shortly the year of my consecration will begin. And Latina is the place to do it.’

Leeds’ transfer market campaign has continued unabated in Viviani’s absence, the club announcing the capture of Nicky Ajose from Peterborough on Tuesday.

Frederik Sorensen of Juventus is believed to be United’s next Italy-based target, with Saturday’s season-opener away to Millwall fast approaching for Dave Hockaday’s men.

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