Agent explains why Everton’s £25m bid was rejected as star pushes for move
Wilfried Gnonto’s agent has opened up on his situation at Leeds United with Everton seeing their attempts to bring the Italy international back to the Premier League ‘blocked’.
Even before his 20th birthday, Leeds United’s former fan favourite has found out the hard way just how quickly a reputation can be torched. From the apple of Elland Road’s eye only a few months ago, Wilfried Gnonto’s name was being chanted by the travelling Leeds supporters for all the wrong reasons ahead of Friday’s 1-1 draw at West Brom.
The former Inter Milan whizzkid submitted a transfer request last week after Everton saw their latest bid – worth a reported £25 million – rejected, per The Athletic.
Leeds insist that Gnonto is not for sale. But with the teenager refusing to play and with just one week of the window remaining, could you really blame the Yorkshire giants from cashing in? This is, after all, a distraction an already embattled Daniel Farke could do without.
Leeds United refuse to let Wilfried Gnonto leave for Everton
“The situation is complicated,” Gnonto’s representative, Claudio Vigorelli, tells Radio Sportiva. “Leeds are blocking the requests we have in the Premier League.”
Gnonto has spoken openly in the past about the sense that he has unfinished business at Inter Milan. But Vigorelli insists that a return to Italy – either with the Nerazzuri or with another Serie A outfit – is simply not on the cards this summer.
There have, however, been links with Tottenham and Aston Villa in some quarters.
“Footballers don’t have a very long career. And they have to make decisions with regards to their own lives and their own careers,” Leeds’ former assistant coach Karl Robinson – who worked briefly with Gnonto last term – says on Sam Allardyce’s No Tippy Tappy Football podcast.
“But, in that moment, you are signed to play for Leeds United. And you have to play. If you don’t want to go out on the pitch and you let your fans down and let your team-mates down, that says a lot about you as a human being.”
Everton may look elsewhere
Everton could move for PSV Eindhoven’s Johan Bakayoko if Leeds refuse to back down. But, a few months Gnonto’s senior, Bakayoko has much to learn before he can thrive in a more high-profile competition.
At least, that is the view of PSV legend Wim Kieft.
“Why (sign him) now?,” Kieft asks, writing in his De Telegraaf column. “Because you think you can pick him up now for 20 or 25 million euros rather than 60 million euros in two years?”
“Bakayoko has qualities as a right winger. But, in the Premier League, something different is asked than against FC Utrecht or Sturm Graz.