Ex-Pompey man in line for chief scout job at United

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Former Portsmouth and Blackburn Rovers head of recruitment Luke Dowling is in line to become Leeds United’s new chief scout.

Dowling is top of Brian McDermott’s list of candidates for the job with the Leeds manager looking to strengthen his backroom team.

Part of Dowling’s initial remit is likely to be assisting in the effort to remove players from the wage bill at Elland Road, creating room for new signings before the end of the summer transfer window.

He was on the staff at Portsmouth during the fire sale at Fratton Park in 2012 - a clear-out which saw Jason Pearce, David Norris, Luke Varney and Jamie Ashdown move to Leeds – and worked briefly for Blackburn during Michael Appleton’s reign as manager.

Dowling parted company with Rovers in March, just two months after following Appleton from Portsmouth to Lancashire, and he is yet to finalise a settlement with the Championship club. United are expected to make their move to appoint him once his departure from Ewood Park is officially agreed.

Leeds have struggled to make substantial changes to the large squad at Elland Road this summer, signing three players and sending Steve Morison on a season-long loan to Millwall.

The club’s board recently instructed McDermott to remove players from the club’s wage bill before making further additions to his squad and United have not completed any deals since landing Noel Hunt on a free transfer on July 3. Previous chief scouts at Leeds have included ex-United goalkeeper Mervyn Day and Kevin Randall, who operated under McDermott’s predecessor Neil Warnock.

Leeds’ scouting team was overseen for several years by technical director Gwyn Williams but Williams was placed on gardening leave at the start of July and has effectively left the club.

Sheffield Wednesday won the reverse fixture 3-0 earlier this season.

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