Cellino: We wanted West Ham to bid

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has spoken of his disappointment in having to sell prized asset Ross McCormack to Fulham, and has stated that he wanted West Ham to make a bid for the hitman.

McCormack signed for Fulham this summer for £10.75m, and it was widely expected that West Ham would make a bid for the player. However Cellino has revealed that in fact West Ham did not make a move for the striker, leaving Leeds no alternative but to sell McCormack to a Championship rival club.

Cellino said: “I didn’t want to sell McCormack because for me, he was the best player we had. He scored 29 goals. I was hoping to keep a player who guaranteed us at least 15 goals and McCormack would do it.

“I’m very unhappy because McCormack decided to go for another experience. Afterwards he told me he was proud to be at Leeds and I was proud too.

“It’s simple. He didn’t feel like my player because I never bought him. He tried to walk away in January, to Cardiff and was already sold for £2 million, but I turned it down. He wanted to go away for a lot of reaons he told me, his kids, his wife. He had just signed a three-year contract and he was happy with the wages and it was good wages.

“But they offered him better wages and like I told you, I was not happy to sell. I said ok if you want him, give me £10 million. I said it because I was sure no one would offer it, so it was a good excuse.

“When it came to pre-season McCormack did not come because he said he was feeling sick, there was a problem with his family and I was really disappointed. In his mind he was already gone.

“And then I worked a lot in a long deal and we closed McCormack for £10,750,000. That is important money for the club. But, it was not in our budget to sell. I didn’t like that another side from the Championship came to take our best player. If it was a side from the Premier League I wouldn’t mind.”

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