Leeds United head coach Steve Evans has told The Yorkshire Evening Post that he wants to keep hold of Mirco Antenucci.
Antenucci has been on the books of Leeds since 2014 and has a contract until June 2016.
Evans, who was appointed the Leeds head coach in October, has made it clear what he thinks of Antenucci.
“I like Antenucci and I can’t hide that fact,” the Scot told The Yorkshire Evening Post. “I’d like to keep him and I’ve told (Massimo) Cellino that. We need strengthening in that area. We don’t want to get weaker.
“Mirco’s a top-class professional but at the same time I do understand his personal circumstances and I know the situation with his contract. Only the president can decide if Mirco is going to get a new one.
“Because of Mirco’s age, as a club we have to ask whether the package he’d would be looking for is value for money from our point of view. We have to ask if that’s the right use of money. From my point of view, what I need to see as a coach is Mirco playing well and scoring goals.”
Antenucci scored 10 goals and created 22 chances in 36 Championship appearances last season.
The former Ternana forward had a pass accuracy of 79% and a shot accuracy of 48%, and won seven headers, 18 dribbles and four tackles.
So far this campaign, the 31-year-old Italian has scored five goals and created 10 chances in 23 Championship games.
Antenucci had a pass accuracy of 75% and a shot accuracy of 52%, and won two headers, 11 dribbles and three tackles.