International playmaker responds to rumours of Leeds United transfer

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Fiorentina midfielder Josip Ilicic has played down speculation of a move to Leeds United.

The Massimo Cellino era at Leeds United was always going to be action-packed, and so it has proved after the Italian dispatched of this third manager in just over five months with the sacking of Darko Milanic.

Milanic failed to win any of his six games in charge, and follows David Hockaday and Brian McDermott out of Elland Road as Cellino embarks on a mission to take the Whites back to the Premier League.

That plan has so far involved bringing a whole host of players from Italian football the West Yorkshire, with Marco Silvestri, Gaetano Berardi, Dario Del Fabro, Giuseppe Bellusci, Tommaso Bianchi, Zan Benedicic, Souleymane Doukara and Mirco Antenucci all arriving from Italy.

And last week, Leeds were linked with another swoop on Serie A, with Milanic's Slovenian compatriot Josip Ilicic linked with a January loan move from Fiorentina.

The former Palermo playmaker had been linked with Bayer Leverkusen and Liverpool in 2013, but joined Fiorentina for £7.7m, and has scored seven goals for Vincenzo Montella's side since then.

With 24 Slovenia caps to his name, Ilicic is a highly-regarded attacking midfielder, with the left footer possessing superb long range shooting and technical ability.

Amidst rumours of Fiorentina looking to loan him to Leeds - or sell him for £7.5m to another club - Ilicic proved his worth to Fiorentina on Sunday night, scoring a superb goal against Milan to earn his side a 1-1 draw at the San Siro.

And after the game, Ilicic said that he wants to 'keep going' at Fiorentina, pouring cold water on a potential move to Elland Road - which may already have been dead in light of Milanic's exit.

"I heard a lot of talk about me, I demonstrate in the field who I am and what I can give," said the 26-year-old. "I want to keep going. I dedicated the goal to my family, my girlfriend and my attorney that were close to me in the most difficult of my career."

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