Leonardo Pavoletti
Leeds intend to exploit a Football League loophole to sign Pavoletti Getty Images

Leeds United with defy the uncertainty surrounding their future by launching a bid to sign Sassuolo striker Leonardo Pavoletti, according to sporting director Nicola Salerno.

Owner Massimo Cellino is currently appealing a Football League ruling which states he must resign from the Elland Road board on 29 December, after being deemed to have failed the owners and directors test following a tax evasion charge in Italy.

The Championship side, who drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest on Saturday, have also been hit with a transfer embargo ahead of the January window, but plan to exploit a loophole which states they can sign players for a maximum of £600,000 a year in salary costs.

This ambiguity in the rules has led to Leeds reigniting their interest in signing Italian forward Pavoletti to help bolster the club's goal threat, which has seen them net just 25 times in 22 league games, leaving them hanging just five points above the relegation zone.

And Salerno told Sky Sport Italia: "I've liked this player for years and he has been considered by Leeds already in the past.

"I get along well with him and the president [Cellino] and I have a good relationship with Sassuolo. We could close a deal without any problems. It depends on the guy because I don't know what he wants to do."

Despite the dark cloud hanging over Leeds amid another turbulent season, attention continues to focus on returning to the Premier League but just two league wins since September during a difficult start to Neil Redfearn's permanent reign in charge has stifled the club's promotion bid.

But Redfearn remains optimistic and is hopeful of bringing in new players during January despite the recent Football League sanctions.

"We've still got the facility to bring some signings in," he said. "There's an embargo but we've identified areas that we need to strengthen.

"I spoke to Massimo about the potential players we could get so we're well aware of all that. It's being dealt with."