By Jamie Woodhouse
Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani has completed his takeover of Leeds United, bringing to an end the reign of Massimo Cellino.
Radrizzani initially bought a 50% stake in the club in January, with the option of a full buyout in the summer.
Leeds fans have welcomed the takeover, hoping it will bring better stability to the club, after the three years of drama under Cellino, who was banned twice from running the club, by the Football League.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Radrizzani said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to become a custodian of this great football club.
“The heritage and history of Leeds United attracted me to the club and having spent time at games and at Thorp Arch I can see that we are ready to move forward to the next level.
“This is a long-term commitment with a lot of hard work ahead of us and I am aware of my responsibilities as owner of Leeds United. I can assure all supporters that everyone at this club will be doing all we can to build a successful team at Elland Road.”
Following the sale, Cellino is expected to turn his focus to investing in Italian Serie B club Brescia, with reports suggesting a takeover is imminent.
Radrizzani is already ringing in the changes off the pitch, appointing former Real Madrid director of strategy Ivan Bravo as a director, followed by Angus Kinnear as chief executive.
Middlesbrough Recruitment Victor Orta is also rumoured to be joining the club, as he’s set to leave the Riverside this summer.
Now that talks have concluded, Leeds are set to extend head coach Garry Monk’s contract for another 12 months. Monk led the whites to a 7th place finish during his first season in charge, with only a dramatic late drop in form, costing them a play-off place.
The focus now for Leeds turns to strengthening their squad for a promotion push next season. Academy graduate Jonny Howson is strongly linked with a return to West Yorkshire, with Norwich claiming they are ready to cash in on the midfielder as they look to drastically reduce their wage bill.
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths is also high on Monk’s shopping list. The Scottish international netted 18 times and provided 15 assists in all competitions last season, despite finding first team opportunities fairly limited as Celtic Park.
Brighton keeper and lifelong Leeds fan David Stockdale is also keen on a move to Elland Road, after rejecting the seagull’s latest contract offer, as they look to adjust to life in the Premier League.
In their retained list published last week, Leeds announced that goalkeeper Ross Turnbull and winger Jordan Botaka would not have their contracts renewed and will leave the club.
Pablo Hernandez has been given a new one year contract after an impressive debut campaign, scoring six goals and providing eight assists.