Next permanent Leeds manager odds
At the turn of the Millennium, Leeds United were a Premier League powerhouse, consistently finishing in the top five and regularly playing in the Champions League and Europa League.
A shock relegation from the top flight in the 2003/04 season was followed up with relegation to League One in 2006/07 and it has been a long, difficult journey back to the higher reaches of English football for the club since.
Now, under the hugely impressive Garry Monk, Leeds are pushing for a return to the Premier League. Monk was viewed as a bad choice by many at the start of the season, due to his disappointing spell with Swansea City. However, so far, his aggressive, controlling brand of football has pushed Leeds into the play-off places.
Things are going well for both club and manager. Yet, given the trigger-happy personality of club owner Massimo Cellino, who has already fired six managers in just two and a half seasons, the slightest dip in form would undoubtedly see him pull the plug on Monk’s reign.
Cellino’s appointments have been largely unpredictable so far, but who is likely to become manager number eight for the Italian entrepreneur, should he part ways with Monk?
Fabio Cannavaro was revealed to be Cellino’s first choice for the job prior to Monk’s appointment. However, the two parties were unable to come to an agreement in time. Should the position open up again, Cannavaro could once again find his name at the top of the list.
The former Italy captain would certainly be surprise choice, given his lack of managerial experience. His only spells so far have come with Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande and Tiajin Quanjian and Saudi Arabia side Al-Nassr and there is no guarantee that he will be able to perform at a higher level. However, he does come with bags of football experience, having played for the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid throughout his career.
Likewise, the club have also been linked with former player Luis Diego Lopez, who has made a positive start to life as a manager since hanging up his boots in 2010.
The former Cagliari player is well known to Cellino, who owned the Italy club until 2014 prior to his arrival at Leeds. In fact, it is him who gave Lopez his first managerial role, making him Cagliari’s assistant manager in 2012 before giving him the top job a year later. The relationship soured when Lopez was dismissed in 2014. However, Cellino is thought to be keen on a reunion with his former charge.
Managerial changes are rarely a simple process, but Gus Poyet would be a simple, yet effective choice. The Uruguayan boss recently took up the manager position at Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, but a decent offer from Leeds could persuade him to jump ship. Poyet struggled at Sunderland, but his experience with Brighton & Hove, where he guided the club from League One to the Championship play-offs, would be invaluable to Leeds.
Monk is certainly doing his job so far and it is extremely unlikely that he will lose his place at the club before the 2017/18 season, should they keep up their current good form. Yet, with Cellino at the helm, a change of managers is never too far away at Leeds United.