MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 05:33:24| >> :120:33020:33020:

Andrea Radrizzani: 'Leeds must invest if we are to compete in Premier League'

The Championship champions' owner says he hopes to stay at Elland Road for the next '10 or 20 years'.

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani believes the club needs more investment to be competitive in the Premier League.

Radrizzani watched Marcelo Bielsa's side celebrate their Sky Bet Championship title success by beating Derby at Pride Park on Sunday, but is already working on plans to ensure Leeds stay in the top flight.

"We have enjoyed fantastic success," said the 45-year-old Italian. "But we've done it in a particular year and the impact of Covid-19 is also hitting the club financially.

"So we will need additional investment to be competitive and to continue our project and our growth and to maintain our position in the Premier League. We will need to add on I think."

Radrizzani, who said he hopes to remain at Elland Road for the next "10 or 20 years", confirmed initial investment would come from his holding company Aser.

He said he also expected 10 per cent stakeholders the San Francisco 49ers to increase their involvement in the club.

"People have said I would sell in the Premier League, but I have always said I would sell probably if I couldn't achieve the Premier League," he said.

Andrea Radrizzani, right, took a flight to Europe after watching Leeds win at Derby
Andrea Radrizzani, right, took a flight to Europe after watching Leeds win at Derby (Mike Egerton/PA)

"But in this case I would love to stay 10 years, maybe more, 20, I'm still young. I don't have any rush. I'm enjoying it.

"(The 49ers) have done a good deal investing in the club with me because they see their investment already worth probably 3.5 times higher in terms of value of what they put (in).

"They are obviously good friends, a good partner and I think they could bring more value in the management of the club in the Premier League than what has been done until now.

"I expect them to help us more, step up and potentially in the future years in the Premier League in club management, particularly the stadium and merchandise."

Radrizzani said there were no current plans for Qatar Sports Investments, the owners of Paris St Germain, to invest in the club, but did not rule it out in the future.

"We have a very good friendship," he said. "We have been talking, but to be honest we haven't reached any concrete point of any negotiation.

"But we are really good friends and if they want seriously to come, they can always find my door open for a discussion, but at this moment there's nothing."

Radrizzani has had little time to savour Leeds' return to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years.

He revealed during his zoom press conference that after Sunday's 3-1 win at Pride Park he flew out to Europe to discuss a possible new signing.

"I mean I can tell you where I am now," he said. "I'm in a place in Europe approaching a meeting for a player for next season. I'm enjoying, but I'm also enjoying working for the future."

When asked if fans can expect Leeds to break their club transfer record, Radrizzani replied: "Which is our transfer record? Helder Costa? Yes, I think we could break it soon.

"I have a clear vision. I need to first secure the team in the Premier League for the next three years, to stay there.

"If we stay there for three years at least then I think we can have a very bright future and stay just behind the top six. That's my goal."

Radrizzani hopes he and director of football Victor Orta will meet with Bielsa this week to discuss the manager's contract extension.

"I have a different view probably of all of you," Radrizzani added. "I think it's an honour for Marcelo as for any other coach to be in charge of a club like Leeds United in the Premier League.

"It's on merit for him to be here and he deserves it, but it's a choice and an honour.

"So at the end we don't have to persuade anyone to stay at our club. It's on merit and ambition because it's a big club."

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Tuesday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

TAEKWONDO
· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
· Mahama Cho is another medal contender for Team GB in the men's +80kg class (2am-2.30pm)

SWIMMING
· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

DIVING
· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin is part of a Team GB team going for gold in the dressage team Grand Prix final (9.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Superstar Simone Biles leads the United States side in the women's team final (11.45am-2.10pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women's team play their final group game, taking on Canada with qualification for the knockout rounds already secured (12pm)

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