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Warnock insists Becchio is not for sale; Kalou staying at Lille

Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has hinted that the Whites will not even consider accepting a bid for star striker Luciano Becchio, whose current contract is set to expire in 18 months, when the transfer window reopens in January, Sky Sports reports.

Becchio, 28, has totaled 17 goals and four assists in all competitions for Leeds United this season, having already surpassed his 11-goal tally from last term.

The Argentine striker most recently bagged a match-winning brace against Middlesbrough at Elland Road on 22 December, just three days after scoring the opening goal in the Whites’ 5-1 defeat to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals.

“I don’t think we’ll lose anybody we want to keep. I can guarantee that while I’m in charge and they’re in charge there’ll be no key players leaving here – unless we want them to leave,” insisted Warnock.

“We need every good player. We want to look upwards, not downwards or sideways.

“It’s not just Becchio. If I was a Premier League manager I’d be looking at three or four of my players. If anyone calls then I’ll answer my phone but I know what I’ll say and I don’t think the new owners will mind me saying it. No-one will leave unless we want them to.”

Only Glen Murray (Crystal Palace) and Charlie Austin (Burnley) have scored more goals in the English League Championship than Leeds United’s Luciano Becchio this season.

Murray has netted 20 goals in 19 games, while Austin has found the back of the net 19 times in 22 games. Scotland international Jordan Rhodes and Blackpool starlet Thomas Ince each have 13 goals to their name.

Leeds United and Becchio will face Nottingham Forest at The City Ground in West Bridgford on Wednesday.

Kalou staying at Lille

Lille OSC forward Salomon Kalou is not looking for a January move away from the Grand Stade Lille Métropole despite reports suggesting otherwise, according to his agent and brother Bonaventure Kalou.

Kalou, formerly of ASEC Mimosas, Feyenoord and Chelsea, has struggled to find top form with the French outfit this season, having scored just three goals in 18 appearances for the club.

However, the Côte d’Ivoire international is keen on honouring his contract with the club amid reports that Lille would be willing to cash in on the 27-year-old forward in the January transfer window.

“We are calm,” revealed Kalou’s representative Bonaventure.

“Salomon knows he has to work hard to reach his true level and show what he is capable of doing when he is in the best shape mentally.”

Kalou joined Lille on a free transfer in July 2012 to replace prolific talisman Eden Hazard following the Belgian’s move to Stamford Bridge.

Although Kalou has not filled the role convincingly, the Ivorian could still prove to be a good piece of business for the Ligue 1 outfit, who will surely be looking for potential suitors when the transfer window reopens on 2 January.

Wed 26 December, 2012
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