Leeds United: Massimo Cellino demands players live in city

Massimo Cellino
Cellino bought a 75% stake in Leeds three months ago

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has ordered that all of the club's players must live in the city.

The 57-year-old took over at Elland Road in April and is currently with the players on their pre-season tour of his native Italy.

"Next season I do not want one single player who lives outside of Leeds, no way. That is mandatory.

"Last year there were players who were coming late to games," Cellino told BBC Radio Leeds.

Cellino added that next season before a home game the players will stay together, have dinner together and go to games together.

"It is important to do this because the players must be able to sleep well the day before a game and maybe they cannot do that if they have small children or if their neighbour is having a party," he said.

Ross McCormack
Cellino on McCormack: "I tried to convince him to stay but he did not feel like my player, he felt like somebody else's. I couldn't change his mind so I had to do the best deal for Leeds."

"I found out that most of the games that are close to Leeds we go to by bus, but we don't have our own. Why not? I would love to have a Leeds bus and I am going to buy one."

Cellino is confident the club are close to bringing in more new signings following the £11m departure of striker Ross McCormack to Fulham.

The Championship side have brought in two players so far this summer, goalkeepers Stuart Taylor and Marco Silvestri.

Midfielder Tommasso Bianchi and defender Jonathan Rossini, both of Serie A club Sassuolo, are currently training with the team, while Catania striker Souleymane Doukara is also expected to join.

Massimo Cellino
"We are signing new players and we need a lot of them for the future."My way to work is to not just sign players for one year but for the next 10 years. I might not live longer than that."

Leeds announced losses of £9.5m for the 2012-13 financial year and Cellino said the club had to "stop wasting money that isn't ours" when he took over.

Cellino, who claims that the club is now debt free, is now targeting a buyout of the 25% of the club still in the hands of previous owners GFH Capital as well as buying back Elland Road.

"There is no debt anymore and we have found a deal with GFH and I am glad for that," he added.

"We are close to raising £30m of capital and that is without the money we got for McCormack. We did not budget for his sale because we did not want him to go.

"The decision to buy back the stadium had been made before Ross was sold but now we can use that money for the deal. We want to take back our house."