Italy talent Gnonto refuses to play for Leeds

Rome: Italy international Wilfried Gnonto has told Leeds United he will not travel with the squad for their Championship game, as he wants to force through a transfer to Everton, confirmed a statement.

The interest from the Toffees had been going for many months and was revived this week with new rumours of negotiations to discuss personal terms.

Leeds were not prepared to sell, but The Athletic and Sky Sport Italia both claim that Gnonto has taken matters into his own hands by refusing to travel with the squad for tomorrow’s game against Birmingham.

Gnonto had already missed the 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Shrewsbury Town that was played on Tuesday.

In an unusual move, Leeds released a formal statement confirming the situation has completely broken down and openly blaming the Italian.

“Earlier this week, Willy Gnonto and his representatives were informed by the club that he would not be sold this summer.

“Following those conversations, Willy felt he was unable to play in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup tie with Shrewsbury Town.

“Despite training for the last two days, Willy has informed Daniel Farke that he still does not feel able to play this weekend and has not travelled to Birmingham for the game tomorrow.

“This is now an internal disciplinary matter and the club will make no further comment, other than to reiterate that Willy is not for sale.”

Still only 19 years of age, Gnonto has 12 senior caps for Italy, scoring one goal.

He came up through the Inter youth academy, but left as a free agent for FC Zurich in 2020 after receiving no first team opportunities.

The sale to Leeds was made for €4.5m in September 2022.