A statement has been issued on behalf of Leeds United striker Mirco Antenucci.
The drama at Leeds United goes on. Fresh from assistant boss Steve Thompson being suspended as the club confirmed today on their website, rumours have been abound regarding Mirco Antenucci.
A Simon Austin exclusive in The Sun reported Neil Redfearn had been told by chairman Andrew Umbers not to pick the striker, as he is two goals away from triggering a clause in his contract for an extra year's extension.
Antenucci has 10 goals this season and is the top scorer, but has been out of favour since the turn of the year.
In response to the article, Antenucci's agent Silvio Pagliari has issued a statement via his Player Management website clarifying their stance.
"Last summer Mirco has signed a two-year contract with Leeds United AFC and like all the other players he has a fixed and a variable part on the contract, in which yes it is true that he will automatically get another year on his contract from the 12th goal.
"I know Nicola Salerno for years and he has assured me that it isn’t absolutely true that this is the reason why he isn’t playing and that the reasons are exclusively technical. I also want to underline that it is a contract agreed with the President Massimo Cellino in person.
"I absolutely don’t want to believe in that thing, also because Mirco could be the only one striker in the world who has problems due to score a lot and to be the top scorer of his side!
"In the same time, it is very strange that in the last two months the best scorer of the club and the only player to reach the double figures has played very little.
"Mirco is going to continue, as a big professional player, to give the best of himself for Leeds United AFC, as he has ever done, and to accept the choices of the head coach, who I hope will change his ideas about Mirco’s involvement in the remainder of the Championship season."
The claims are being denied by Salerno, with it alleged the only reason Antenucci has been out of the team is due to the choice of Neil Redfearn.
Clearly Antenucci and his agent find the whole issue bizarre, as do the majority of fans and outsiders, and while it seems preposterous, anything is believable at Leeds, especially on a day they bizarrely suspended Steve Thompson.
More will become apparent when the team is picked at home to Blackburn at the weekend, but with two goals in his last two games, Antenucci has done more than enough to merit a starting spot on performances alone.