Sheffield Wednesday signing Forestieri blames Nicola Salerno for Leeds fans being angry at him

Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday new boy Fernando Forestieri has said that he was not as close to leaving Watford for Leeds United as earlier claimed.

Sheffield Wednesday new boy Fernando Forestieri has shed light on claims he could have joined Leeds United instead.

In an exclusive interview with WDSport, Forestieri indicated that there had been a breakdown in communication between Leeds, Watford, and his agent.

The forward had been reported by The Mirror to be heading to Leeds who wrote that a £3 million fee had been agreed for his services.

With the attacker joining their Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday instead, there were understandably fans who were upset with him.

Forestieri told WDSport that the role of Nicola Salerno, former Leeds sporting director and now at Watford, confused the situation.

He said: "One day I came into the training ground and he told me, ‘Nando, you need to go there [to Leeds].’ I said, ‘Wait. The Leeds owner has not talked with my agent.’

"I checked by Twitter after training and everyone is saying I’m going to Leeds. I knew nothing. No-one speak to me or the agent, from Leeds. I’m disappointed and sad as Leeds fans were angry with me on Twitter.

"I’m sorry for everyone but this is the mistake of the director."

Leeds made a real push to sign him, but issued a statement on their website late last week via owner Massimo Cellino confirming they had pulled out of negotiations, with the player himself coming under fire.

Cellino said: "We decided on Tuesday that we would not be signing Forestieri, it was clear he didn’t have the right mentality needed to come to Leeds. I want players to show a hunger and desire to come here – but he did not.

"It was not about the money. A player could cost £3million, £5m or be a free transfer, but if their mentality isn’t right then I will not sign them for Leeds."

Forestieri may be glad that Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday played each other just a fortnight ago and by time the two teams meet in 2016, bitterness will have subsided - if not gone entirely.

If anything it seems Salerno was trying to do his former club a favour, but over-eagerness seems to have caused Forestieri grief he did not want.

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