Rumour buster: Leeds reportedly interested in signing Italy legends
Many different outlets reported some sensational Leeds transfer news this week.
First, it was claimed that Leeds were going to sign PSG stopper Gianluigi Buffon, a 41-year-old who’s out of contract in the summer.
Then came the even more bizarre news that they were also interested in retired striker Francesco Totti. He’s 42 and hasn’t played since he retired in the summer of 2017.
They doubled down on it after the story was picked up by traditional outlets. The Sun had a hilarious piece on how Leeds could line-up next season if they signed both players. And papers like the Daily Mail and even the Guardian ran with the story too.
The Totti link was even more spurious but it didn’t stop it being widely reported.
TMW quoted former Italy international Marco Borriello on Sky Italy where he said, “I know that a great leader of an English team has made him a proposal to go back to playing football. Radrizzani of Leeds? I don’t know.”
Quite how “I don’t know” gets picked up to mean “could be happening” is anyone’s guess.
But let’s look at the facts.
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani said that this summer would be difficult after missing out on the Premier League.
An article in the Yorkshire Evening Post said they would be relying on loans and Bielsa’s tactical acumen for the 19/20 season.
Both Buffon and Totti would come with massive wage demands. Signing either would fly completely in the face of what we know about Leeds at the moment. And let’s not forget the fact that Totti has retired.
More specifically, there are some ultra-reliable sources for Leeds information. David Anderson from the Mirror said that the Buffon move was a non-starter. He said Leeds weren’t trying to sign him and they weren’t even looking for a keeper.
Phil Hay, formerly of the Yorkshire Evening Post was even more direct, just saying that the “Buffon rumour is comedy, but you know that”.
As for Totti, neither of these journalists even bothered to address the speculation, which tells you all you need to know.
We can safely say that neither Buffon nor Totti will be signing this summer. Nor will Paolo Maldini, Roberto Baggio or Dino Zoff. Sorry.
Chance of signing for Leeds?