GARRY MONK expects Andrea Radrizzani to complete a full buy-out of Leeds United and revealed that he and the club’s co-owner have already held initial talks amid the uncertainty over Monk’s future as head coach.
Monk has reached the end of his initial 12-month contract after Leeds finished their Championship season with a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic and he is poised for “in depth” discussions about his job and a planned change of ownership at Elland Road after speaking with Radrizzani on Saturday.
Radrizzani is close to a deal to buy out fellow co-owner Massimo Cellino and secure 100 per cent control of United and Monk described an agreement between them as “imminent” after Radrizzani outlined his intentions during a brief meeting at Thorp Arch.
Yesterday’s game at Wigan, which saw Leeds finish seventh in the Championship, was dominated by chants from the away end calling for the club to extend the contract Monk accepted when he became head coach last June but Monk said his willingness to remain in charge after a season in which United slipped one place below the play-offs remained dependent on his vision “aligning” with that of Radrizzani and Leeds.
Monk said: “I had an initial talk with him at the training ground (on Saturday); just a general chat about this season, the general idea of the takeover and the timeframe for that.
“We’re due now to really talk in the days and weeks ahead, to get into the detail and the depth of how that’s going to work, how that takeover will be set up, the structure of the club and for me to know in detail about that.
There’s going to be good open dialogue. Mr Radrizzani’s good on communication and I’m looking forward to those chats.Leeds United boss, Garry Monk
“With the experience I’ve had this year of understanding Leeds, getting my teeth into the club and understanding what’s needed to go forward – I’ve got a very clear idea about how to go to the next stage, which is a promotion campaign from the very start. These talks will help to see if the club are aligned with myself in terms of what I need to go forward.
“There’s going to be good open dialogue. Mr Radrizzani’s good on communication and I’m looking forward to those chats. I’ve got the experience of a year at Leeds so it’ll be about seeing if their views are aligned with mine and seeing what their vision is.”
Monk is the seventh manager or head coach employed by Leeds since Cellino first bought majority control of the club in April 2014 but Cellino’s reputation for culling first-team bosses has been tempered by Monk surviving a full season in charge.
Cellino, whose original takeover was confirmed on the day of a 1-0 defeat at Wigan in 2014, has been less prominent at Elland Road in the past 12 months and he and Radrizzani closed out a deal for a 50-50 split of shares in the first week of the January transfer window.
Cellino came in for sustained criticism over his handling of some of Monk’s predecessors but Monk, who had been out of work for more than six months when the Italian appointed him, said: “I’m very thankful to Massimo for bringing me here. I’ve had a good relationship with him throughout. The communication’s been good and he’s helped to support me from within. I have to give Massimo huge credit.
“As it stands, he’s still half of the ownership but the wheels are in motion. I’m sure it’s imminent that Mr Radrizzani will take full control. Then we’ll find out the structure.”
Leeds finished the season on 75 points after a lively stalemate with relegated Wigan, fighting back from Ryan Tunnicliffe’s early opener to level through a Chris Wood penalty.
Wood’s second-half finish took him to 30 goals for the season, the sixth player in Leeds’ history to reach that total in a single term.
Monk said: “All credit to him. He joins some illustrious names with that 30-goal mark and he’s one player, like all of them, I’m very proud of.”