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Warnock plays down Becchio reports

Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has rejected reports that Luciano Becchio was with Wigan Athletic after he was left out of the club's FA Cup win at Birmingham City on Tuesday night - but stopped short of saying the striker would not be sold in the January window.

Luciano Becchio celebrates his opener against Chelsea
Leeds striker Luciano Becchio

Becchio, 29, has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season and is just one behind his highest haul in his five seasons at Leeds. That has brought attention from Premier League clubs with the suggestion he had travelled to Dean Court to watch Wigan's FA Cup win at AFC Bournemouth.

But Warnock has insisted that Becchio, who was in the youth ranks at Boca Juniors and played for Barcelona B, was ill and there was nothing sinister behind his omission at St Andrew's.

"I've heard the rumours but I think he has texted [Leeds chief executive] Shaun Harvey to say he is at home. So he's obviously heard the rumours," said Warnock.

"We lost Becchio this morning, he came off training yesterday and said he felt sick. And then the doc said the morning he was sick in the night so he didn't travel."

And asked whether he thought the striker wanted to stay at Elland Road, he replied: "We'll see. I can't tell you anything other than that. I spoke to the owners today and in due course we'll probably speak about that."

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