Photo: Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino had a surprise guest at Anfield

Leeds United fan

The pair were all smiles during Leeds United's 2-0 defeat against Liverpool.

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino is not a man who strikes you has having too many friends in football, especially if they are close associates of men he has previously wronged.

The Italian's choice of guest for Tuesday's EFL Cup tie at Liverpool, however, certainly made for interesting viewing.

He appeared to be accompanied by Pat Dolan, the former Arsenal footballer turned pundit and agent, whose clients include Southampton striker Shane Long... and ex-Leeds manager Brian McDermott.

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino in the standsLeeds United owner Massimo Cellino with what appears to be Pat Dolan (right)

McDermott, of course, became the first of six Whites bosses to be shown the door by Cellino after his 2014 takeover of the Championship club, and told the Guardian afterwards that Dolan was his first port of call after the former Cagliari owner sacked and then re-hired him before his reign as owner had even begun.

Yet Dolan's McDermott ties were apparently no obstacle last night, with he and Cellino all smiles at the time the above image was captured, and their friendship is perhaps not as strange as it seems.

Leeds United manager Brian McDermottFormer Leeds United manager Brian McDermott

After all, according to the BBC, Cellino did try to appoint Dolan's twin brother, Eamonn, as McDermott's replacement, only to be put off by Reading's demands for their former youth coach, who passed away in June this year.

Cellino's Leeds spell may be reaching its end, with another Italian businessman, Andrea Radrizzani, this week confirming his intention to acquire his compatriot's stake, albeit in 50 per cent installments. However, with a full takeover unlikely to happen before next summer, there is still time for Cellino's Dolan association to bear fruit.

Liverpool's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring their second goalLiverpool's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Leeds United

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