Date:Saturday January 26 2013
Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says the club will not be offering Luciano Becchio any more money after the striker turned down a new contract with the club.
The clubs leading goalscorer this season with 19 goals, as eighteen months remaining on his current deal and he has put in a transfer request with a number of clubs both home and abroad interested.
Warnock admitted after the Barnsley game earlier this month that the players mind was not on the game and that his agent was turning his head and a move away from Elland Road.
Speaking at his press conference ahead of the FA Cup tie with Tottenham this weekend, Warnock said, "It has been below the surface for a while. We have been talking about a new contract with Luciano for another three and a half years. It is the player prerogative not to agree to anything.
"He was a late starter in professional football and he feels the opportunities he is going to receive and the figures he is being told he will receive from abroad, they are the types of figures that will set him up for life, I think that is how he is looking at things.
"Luciano is thinking about his family and what goes with it. We have offered him a three and a half year contract on the best money I have ever offered a player whilst I have been at Leeds and it has not been accepted by his advisors."
Leeds have already admitted that they have turned down a couple of offers from foreign clubs for the Argentinian, who has netted 86 times for the club since joining in the summer of 2008.
Leeds turned down a fresh bid on Thursday for Becchio and with the transfer window closing on Thursday night at 11pm, Leeds have said, he will only leave if they receive a bid acceptable to the club. Warnock says that if Becchio remains at the club past the end of January, he will have to get on with things at Elland Road until the summer. "He knows, come Thursday night, if we have not accepted an offer, he gets on with things. He will get on with things and we will put it to bed until the summer.
"I have had no problems with Luciano and until these last few weeks, he has always given 100%. It has only been since this problem arose that his mind hasn`t been on the game," continued Warnock.
Warnock says he does not expect the club to offer Becchio an improved offer to remain at Elland Road. The Leeds boss admits, the club have offered him the best deal possible with the financial fair play in place, which only allows clubs to spend so much of their annual turnover on wages. "With the financial fair play coming in, we can only go so far when you are in the championship. We have offered him a Premier League contract; we cannot do any more than that."
Becchio arrived at Leeds in the summer of 2008 when former boss Gary McAllister invited him to the pre-season tour of Ireland.
The Argentinian had spent the early part of his career learning his trade in the Spanish lower leagues with the second string Barcelona and Mallorca sides.
Becchio did enough during pre-season to be rewarded with a three-year deal at Elland Road and he made his debut for the club, as a late substitute in the opening day win at Scunthorpe United.
He made his first league start the following weekend at Yeovil and he scored within a minute of the start.
Becchio quickly formed a lethal partnership with fellow striker Jermaine Beckford and the pair scored 53 goals between them in their first season with Becchio netting 19 times.
The following season, the pair continued to torment League One defences as the club won promotion. Becchio netted 17 times as the pair scored 48 goals between them.
Jermaine Beckford left in the summer for Everton, leaving the pressure on Becchio to provide the goals in Leeds first season back in the championship.
The striker did not disappoint. He scored in the opening day defeat to Derby County and he went on to score 12 goals in the first half of the season. He scored his first hat trick in English football in November of that season when he came off the bench to score a 17-minute hat trick past former England goalkeeper David James, who was playing in goal for Bristol City. His form earned him a new two and a half year deal at the club before the New Year.
He scored his 20th goal of the season against Watford in April but a hamstring injury in the same game brought a premature end to his season.
Becchio failed to recover from the injury in time for the new season and it wasn`t until September that he returned to the first team.
He marked his return from the bench against Crystal Palace with a trademark headed goal within ten minutes of his arrival.
Becchio struggled to find the form that had seen him hit 20 goals the previous season but despite his dip in form, he still finished the season with 11 goals.
He returned to form at the start of the season, scoring seven times in the first eight games of the season and he showed Premier League sides he was capable of doing it against top-flight teams with goals against Southampton and Chelsea in the League Cup.
The striker is the longest serving first team player at the club. He has made 221 appearances since his arrival netting 86 times.
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Date:Saturday January 26 2013
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