Nicola Salerno played a surprise role in Sol Bamba's imminent signing for Leeds.
It has been reported over the past 24 hours that Leeds United are close to wrapping up the signing of Sol Bamba, with Italian website Tuttomercatoweb reporting the deal is nearly complete.
The centre-back had been on loan at Leeds from Palermo over the second half of the season, and become a real fan favourite due to his impressive performances, even captaining the side.
The twist in the news of his impending signature came with the claims outgoing sporting director Nicola Salerno was the one who clinched the deal, reported that he made a personal phone call to Bamba to see it through.
Salerno has not been thought to be actively involved at Leeds over the past two months, with the club hiring a new head of recruitment in his place.
The Italian took to Twitter subsequently to send Bamba a message of congratulations on his imminent transfer.
I see you! Good luck top guy! pic.twitter.com/zm9enQ5kZP— Nicola Salerno (@NicolaSalernods) June 10, 2015
The reports claimed Leeds saw off a late effort from Championship side Reading who wanted to swoop in to sign him.
TMW later explained Salerno is not expected to be involved in the future at Leeds, but was helping out in advance of his official departure from the club.
HITC reported earlier this week the Whites had made Bamba a second offer after their initial approach to bring him back to Elland Road was turned down. Neil Redfearn's decision to return to the club, announced yesterday, as head of academy, may also have had a positive effect on the Ivorian's decision.