By Jonty Banks

24th May, 2023 | 9:20pm

Square one looms for 49ers as vultures circle in Leeds United double transfer blow

The 49ers Enterprises have patiently been waiting in the wings to complete the full takeover of Leeds United from Andrea Radrizzani, but they risk plummeting all the way back to square one before they know it.

If Sam Allardyce’s side are relegated to the Championship after this weekend’s final round of Premier League fixtures, the Whites are expected to lose several big-name players who simply can’t afford to play in the second division of English football.

The Telegraph has previously reported that Leeds could be forced to undergo a fire sale of Illan Meslier, Patrick Bamford, Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and Willy Gnonto if relegated in order to balance the books.

However, The Express has now shared (24 May) in a report that was titled “Leeds targeted by vultures” that Spanish midfielder Marc Roca could be the first high-profile summer exit after Real Betis reopened talks with his representatives over a potential transfer.

Just to rub salt into the wounds of the 49ers, 19-year-old winger Gnonto has suitors from his homeland in Italy and could be heading for the exit door.

This double transfer blow could be the first of many in the coming months, and if the 49ers aren’t careful, they could have a major first-team construction job on their hands before they know it.

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The Championship is a tough league to get promoted out of at the best of times, but on the back of losing internationals such as Roca and Gnonto, Leeds risk being stranded in the second division if there fate is sealed after the Spurs clash this Sunday (28 May).

For the 49ers, all they can do right now is hope Radrizzani wants to part company with the club at the end of the season and subsequently get in the command room to try and salvage the sinking ship.

If Leeds United were playing a game of snakes and ladders right now, they would surely be plummeting all the way back down to square one.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay claims that an international player at Elland Road has no place at the club next season and a summer transfer is on the cards.