Leeds United: Milanic plays down talk of head coach role

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Darko Milanic has played down talk of him becoming Leeds United’s next head coach, saying he is yet to receive an offer from the Elland Road club.

Milanic, who coaches Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga, has emerged as the leading candidate for the job at Leeds after speaking with United owner Massimo Cellino.

The two men are understood to have discussed the vacancy on Sunday, though Sturm Graz say they have had no official contact from Leeds and Milanic claimed today that he was “focused 100 per cent” on his current position.

“In football there are always rumors,” Milanic told Sturm Graz’s official website.

“But to me there is no offer from another club. I’m focused 100 per cent on the job at SK Sturm.”

A club statement added: “To bring clarity to the matter, there (has been) no contact between the clubs.”

Milanic is under contract until 2016 and only a year into a job he took on at Sturm Graz last summer. Leeds would be required to pay compensation to bring him to England.

The 46-year-old - an ex Yugoslavia and Slovenia international - moved to Austria after a successful five-year spell in charge of Slovenian side Maribor, a period in which he won nine domestic trophies.

Cellino wants Milanic to replace David Hockaday,who was sacked as United head coach last month after only six games in charge.

The Italian made a move for Oscar Garcia before the recent international break but saw Garcia opt for the head coach’s job at Watford.

Alex Sabella, the man who led Argentina into this year’s World Cup and played for Leeds in the 1980s, is believed to have expressed a firm interest in the job at Elland Road but is unlikely to come into the reckoning unless Cellino’s bid to land Milanic fails.

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