Nicola Salerno, Cagliari’s former sporting director, spurned the advances of Serie A side Palermo to join Massimo Cellino’s Italian revolution at Elland Road. At the time he told Italian football website TUTTOmercatoWEB (TMW), as per a report in the Mail Online, “Leeds? It’s a life choice, my first experience abroad but with an Italian owner.”
Speaking at the time about the ‘snubbing’ of Palermo, Salerno said that he had an excellent relationship with owner Maurizio Zamparini. Exactly a year later, during which time the then-Leeds Sporting Director had been on extended leave from the club, the Whites formally announced his departure from the club, his contract mutually terminated.
Salerno had resigned from his position at Leeds United in April, as confirmed by Massimo Cellino – who was under a Football League ban at the time, in the fallout and wake of the incident that had seen Neil Redfearn’s assistant coach Steve Thompson suspended from the club, and told his contract would not be renewed.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Cellino claimed at the time that he was told “that Salerno was disrespected by Thompson,” this disrespect coming after Leeds’ 3-0 win over Fulham on March 18.
Cellino claimed Thompson called Salerno a 'retard' after the Fulham game, in earshot of others, and that's the reason he was suspended
— Simon Austin (@sport_simon) April 8, 2015
However, in news today, TUTTOmercatoWEB have revealed that Palermo owner Zamparini has been back in contact with Nicola Salerno, in an informal manner, and Zamparini is wanting him to come to Palermo. Palermo are hoping to gain a positive response from Salerno as they hope to tempt the Italian back to his homeland.
Foremost amongst Palermo’s concerns however will be to finish the season and preserve their top-flight status before turning their sights to next season. TMW say that there are positive results at Palermo in the youth squad under Dario Baccin and in the first team in a season that “has lacked a true point of reference.”
Salerno is currently sporting director at Watford, working alongside Gigi de Canio, and splits his time currently working between London and Udine.