Leeds United: CONFIRMED - Monk is new head coach at Elland Road

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LEEDS UNITED have appointed Garry Monk as the seventh head coach of chairman Massimo Cellino’s tenure at Elland Road.

Former Swansea City manager Monk has penned a one-year rolling contract having agreed a deal with the Whites on Thursday morning.

Monk, 37, will now be officially unveiled to the media at a 2.30pm press conference at Elland Road on Thursday afternoon.

A delighted Monk said: “It feels great to be here. I’m extremely honoured to join Leeds United Football Club – we all know the history of the club and the standing it has in English football.

“I feel really honoured to be here and I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“The passion of the fans, the history and the ambition of the owner all ties in with what I wanted to do.

“I want to be challenged and really get my teeth into a big project. That was the underlying factor throughout the whole process and that’s the reason why I’m here today.

“This is definitely the right challenge for me and I’m really happy to be here.”

Whites chairman Massimo Cellino added: ““I’m very pleased to welcome Garry Monk to Leeds United. “Garry is part of a new generation of coaches in England and has a lot of potential to develop, which is something we were targeting for the new season. “I believe he’s very suited to continuing the growth of our young and improving team. He will bring new strengths and a lot of energy to the squad. “He was a fighter as a player and now he’s the same as a manager - as we saw when he did very well at Swansea City. I feel he can really bring the best out of the team. “It is a big challenge but Garry is very determined and he trusts himself with this job – he really wanted to come here. That is something which has impressed me a lot. “We have chosen to take on the challenge together and we are focused on achieving our goals in the new season.”

Monk was a free agent having ben sacked by Swansea last December which avoids a potential complication over any likely move and Cellino is believed to be keen to make an appointment as soon as he possibly can.

The 37-year-old enjoyed a fine ten years as a player at Swansea - as a centre-back - before taking over the managerial reins in February 2014.

Swansea were 12th in the Premier League upon his appointment and Monk’s first game in charge resulted in a 3-0 win at home to arch rivals Cardiff City.

A run of nine games without a victory followed but four wins out of Swansea’s last seven games steered the Welsh side to survival and a finish of 12th.

Victory at Manchester United on the opening day of the following season proved a sign of things to come for Monk’s Swansea who went on to record their highest ever Premier League finish in 2014-15 with a record points tally as a return of 56 points saw them end up in eighth.

But after a great 2014-15, it went wrong for Monk at the start of this season and after one win in 12 games he was sacked on December 9.

Overall, Monk had 77 games in charge of Swansea, winning 28, drawing 17 and losing 32 for win per cent rate of 36.36.

That is about the same as former Whites head coaches Steve Evans and Brian McDermott but obviously Monk’s record is based on games in the Premier.

As a player, Monk made 223 league appearances for Swansea, with his journey beginning down in League Two in 2004.

Seven years later, having become captain of the Swans, the side were promoted to the Premier in 2011.

Cellino insisted a “different approach” was needed at Leeds next season after Steve Evans became the sixth managerial casualty of the Italian owner’s reign at Elland Road on Tuesday evening.

Evans – who lasted seven months at Elland Road – became the sixth head coach to lose his job under Cellino after Brian McDermott, David Hockaday, Darko Milanic, Neil Redfearn and Uwe Rosler.

Cellino had been away in Italy but returned to office at Elland Road on Tuesday and said: “I would like to thank Steve Evans for his efforts as the head coach of Leeds United.

“Steve completed the job he was brought in to carry out – to keep the team in the Championship – and his hard work here has been greatly appreciated.

“I wish him and Paul Raynor the very best for the future. We have, however, decided that a different approach is required in order to achieve our targets for the new season.

Cellino has vowed to refund at least 25 per cent of the cost of all season tickets bought before the May 31 deadline should United fail to reach the play-offs.

That refund will rise to 50 per cent should the club sell 15,000 season tickets by the end of July.