Is another Italian sporting director heading for Leeds United?
Leeds United have been linked to appointing Francesco Marroccu as sporting director.
Italian website Sardegna Sport reported exclusively that Marroccu has left his role at Ascoli and will be appointed by the Whites on July 1.
Leeds owner Massimo Cellino was quizzed over the reports, and played them down, telling Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Phil Hay that a deal may happen next year instead.
Cellino says Francesco Marroccu won't be coming to #lufc as sporting director at this stage. "It could happen in future. Maybe next year."— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) June 13, 2016
Marroccu worked under Cellino at Cagliari in Italy for several years, and so are already well known to each other.
The Whites have been without a sporting director since Nicola Salerno left 12 months ago, after a mixed time at the club.
Some of his signings like Sol Bamba and Gaetano Berardi have been successes, but there were several failures, with the likes of Edgar Cani, Tommaso Bianchi and Dario del Fabro among them.
It is an assumption, but fans are fearful that Marroccu would simply look to work in the same way as Salerno, by targeting players from Italy's Serie B.
The easiest way for Cellino to work would simply be to allow Garry Monk to get on with his job, but he has previously spoken of the need for structure, and to have a football man in place should he fire the coach, so there is some continuity.
His denial spikes the rumours for now, but it will be interesting to see come July 1, by when Marroccu's Ascoli contract will have expired, if that changes.
Here is a look at how supporters reacted to news of his possible appointment...
BREAKING: Francesco Marroccu is coming to #lufc as Sporting Director. His 1st recommendation is Italian Winger Ima Crappycrossa. Happy days.— Mr Geldard (@MrJGeldard) June 13, 2016
What do we need an Italian sporting director for. Look at how bad the last lot of italians were that salerno brought in #lufc— Micky Padge (@mickipadgett) June 13, 2016
Another Sporting Director with no English football experience shows Cellino isn't changing his interference in football matters ways. #lufc— Michael (@MGlufc) June 13, 2016
@PhilHayYEP Don’t see the point in appointing Monk, then reverting to type. Fully expected all the same.— Marching on Together (@LUFC1523) June 13, 2016
@PhilHayYEP So the Italian trend continues. Wonder what this guy knows about the Champship probably doesn't even know what teams are in it— John Sidney (@JonSidney) June 13, 2016
MC knows the league, Monk has played in every league and coached in the PL, Marrucco will be fine as its that team identifying players #lufc— CellinoIn (@CellinoIn) June 13, 2016
Leeds owner Massimo Cellino