GIANNI Paladini remains “extremely serious” in his pursuit of Bradford City, he has confirmed to the Telegraph & Argus.

On the day that Sheffield United are expected to officially unveil Nigel Adkins – and not Bantams boss Phil Parkinson – as their eighth manager in eight years, the Italian has repeated his determination to push a Valley Parade deal through.

The former QPR chairman’s takeover failed to materialise by the end of his month-long period of exclusivity, which ran out at midnight last Friday.

It is believed that the parties failed to reach an agreement because one of the Italian’s major backers had pulled out.

But Paladini today stressed that he is still very much in the hunt to buy the club from joint-owners Julian Rhodes and Mark Lawn.


Speaking from Italy, Paladini exclusively told the T&A: “All is good re Bradford. I am extremely serious about the purchase of the club.

“I am just waiting for a few more issues (to be resolved) but I don’t see a problem.

“I know we’ve gone over the deadline but all is okay and I hope to finalise the deal very shortly.”

City have stressed that the door has not been shut on Paladini because he ran out of time to pursue his exclusive interest.

But with other potential suitors still maintaining a close watch on the club, Rhodes made it clear that they are open to any genuine inquiry.

Rhodes said: “We will always speak to people who express an interest as we have done on numerous occasions in the past. It doesn’t mean that will come to anything.

“It was an exclusivity agreement with Gianni that meant we could not speak to anybody else. That has now passed.

“It doesn’t mean he can’t come back and do the deal, should we so wish to do the deal. But that now applies to anybody.”

With the takeover talk possibly set to rumble on, the cloud of uncertainty over Parkinson’s future should be lifted with the new appointment at Bramall Lane.

Having been installed by the bookies as the early front-runner to replace Nigel Clough, City last week blocked Sheffield United’s approach for their manager.

It is understood there is a six-figure release clause in Parkinson’s contract that the Blades could still have activated. But City yesterday insisted that there had been no further contact between the clubs.

Former Reading and Southampton boss Adkins was the heavily odds-on favourite last night to land the job, although sources in Sheffield claimed that Parkinson was high on the shortlist.

The Blades hierarchy have admired the City chief for a while and he has been on their radar before.

There was also a flurry of late applicants and a further round of talks about the vacancy were understood to have taken place yesterday before the choice was made.

Decision makers Kevin McCabe and Jim Phipps, the American advisor acting on behalf of Saudi co-owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, would like to have the new man in place before setting off for the Football League’s annual conference in Portugal tomorrow.

Parkinson has kept a low profile throughout but a close source said: “It’s business as usual for Phil. Nothing has changed.

“It’s always nice to be linked with another job, it shows you are doing something right. From a personal point of view, looking at some of the other names being linked they have not achieved what Phil has.”