Leeds fear Viduka might be lost to Inter - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Leeds fear Viduka might be lost to Inter

19/12/2003 08:45:52 PM Comments (0)

Leeds United, who need to find a buyer before January 19 if they are not to go into administration, might loan Australian striker Mark Viduka to Inter Milan to ease their debt mountain.

The Sun newspaper reported Friday that Inter, whose own Australian-bred striker Christian Vieri is reported to have lost coach Alberto Zaccheroni's confidence, have made a renewed bid.

Leeds are STG83 million ($A198.9 million) in debt and Viduka is Elland Road's highest earner on STG65,000 ($A156,000) a week.

Leeds caretaker manager Eddie Gray is desperate to hang on to Viduka who is central to his plans to fight off relegation.

But he said: "You can never tell what is going to happen when the transfer window opens. But Mark is a player who will attract attention.

"Everybody in the game knows he is a world-class striker - one of the top four or five in the business."

Gray believes that seven points from their last three matches are restoring confidence.

Although Leeds remain second bottom, their resurgence means they are only five points adrift of 11th-placed Middlesbrough.

But he knows that if the club goes into administration he will have little hope of keeping Viduka and that would wreck his salvage operation.

Three consortium are reported to be plotting to take over Leeds -- one headed by Chinese tycoon Xu Ming, another headed by Bahrain-based Sheikh Abdul Mubarak Al-Khalifa, and a third headed by former deputy chairman Allan Leighton.

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