Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has set head coach Thomas Christiansen the clear target of a top-six finish this season - after revealing that his takeover of the club has cost him “in the region of £100m.”
In an interview with BBC Sport, Radrizzani talked up Christiansen’s potential and said he was confident of a “good result with him” as United’s first-team boss finalised his preparation for the start of the new Championship term this weekend.
Christiansen - the manager of APOEL in Cyprus last season - was Radrizzani’s choice as head coach after former incumbent Garry Monk resigned from the job two days after Radrizzani completed a 100 per cent buy-out of Leeds.
United finished seventh under Monk last season, one place below the play-offs, and asked if the top six was a minimum target, Radrizzani said: “Definitely yes. It’s a natural goal. Then I’m happy to welcome a good surprise and a better year than what I expect but at the end, our target is the play-offs.”
Christiansen has been in management for only three years, all of those spent in Cyprus, but he was appointed on a two-year contract in June after impressing Radrizzani during an interview in Madrid.
Nine new signings have arrived since he took charge and Leeds are expected to recruit another centre-back and striker before the transfer window closes.
“I’m very confident otherwise I wouldn’t hire him,” Radrizzani said. “We went through a deep process of interviews.
“He’s a guy who has a good background and knows his football and we have similar ideas in terms of playing offensive and try to win the game, That’s what convinced me to bring him on board and I’ll be very supportive of him this year. I’m sure we can have a good result with him.”
Radrizzani’s buy-out of Massimo Cellino was followed by a deal to purchase Elland Road, 13 years after the ground was sold by Leeds to private owners.
Radrizzani, who has overseen renovation work at both the ground and United’s Thorp Arch training ground this summer, indicated at the time that his takeover had cost in excess of the £45m paid by Fosun International to take control of Wolverhampton Wanderers last year. The buy-back of Elland Road, meanwhile, is understood to have cost around £20m.
Radrizzani said: “I’m already committed with a big investment in the region of £100m. I’m here for good and I want to bring this club back to where they deserve.
“It was a very hard time this summer, two months of hard work. I got full control only on May 25 so it’s been 60 days of hard work for everyone but we are ready to start.
“This year I think we need to compete at the top of the league and be in the top six. We invested in the club to improve the quality. If we cannot make it this year we work harder to make it next year.”