Brian McDermott is ready to throw his hat into the ring for the Leeds United manager’s job.
Sources close to the former Reading boss have told the YEP that the 51-year-old wants the post at Elland Road to be his next appointment after being ruthlessly sacked by the Berkshire club.
McDermott’s long period of service to Reading – spanning more than 12 years and involving several different roles – ended unceremoniously last month when he was dismissed with nine games of the Premier League season to go.
The former Arsenal midfielder took Reading into the top flight as Championship title winners last season, earning him the LMA Championship Manager of the Year in the process, and his reputation grew rapidly during three-and-a-half years in charge.
He had previously worked as a club scout before occupying academy and reserve-team coaching roles and his resume is likely to match many of United’s requirements when the Elland Road club bring the process of replacing Neil Warnock to a head.
United boss Warnock remains in post but his contract ends in June and he is expected to part company with the club once their pursuit of the Championship play-offs becomes mathematically impossible. His squad were seven points adrift ahead of today’s game at Ipswich Town, the first of eight remaining fixtures.
Leeds have already shown a tentative interest in Nigel Adkins – sacked by Southampton in January – but their failure to hold formal talks with the 48-year-old allowed Reading to step in and name him as McDermott’s successor on Tuesday.
McDermott is now expected to push for the forthcoming vacancy at Elland Road, with a source claiming he would “jump” at the opportunity if United approached him.
Reading were consistently prominent in the Championship during his tenure, reaching the play-off final in 2011 before topping the league last May by a single point from Southampton. They closed out their title win with a remarkable run of 16 victories from 19 games.
The YEP also understands that Owen Coyle – another leading name in the betting markets – is planning to apply for the Leeds job, having been out of work since leaving Bolton Wanderers in October.
Coyle and Bolton parted company shortly after United’s 2-2 draw at the Reebok Stadium with Wanderers far adrift of the division’s promotion fight.
The Lancashire club originally took him on board in 2010 after Coyle guided Burnley to an unlikely success in the Championship play-off final.
He, McDermott, Gus Poyet and Paolo Di Canio are among the favourites to replace Warnock with Adkins no longer an option, but Leeds appear to have made little progress in their search for a new boss amid further changes in the boardroom at Elland Road.
On Thursday, GFH Capital, United’s majority shareholder, announced the sale of 10 per cent stake to the Bahrain-based International Investment Bank (IIB). Click here to register and have your say on the Leeds United stories and issues that matter to you