Leeds United: Monk still waiting to learn deal talks date

Garry Monk
Garry Monk
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Garry Monk insisted he would wait for Leeds United to come to him for talks about an extended contract as the end of the club’s bid for promotion focused fresh attention on his future.

United’s head coach said he was not intending to push the hierarchy at Elland Road for immediate clarity about his job despite a 3-3 draw with Norwich City ruling Leeds out of the Championship’s play-offs.

Suspended, Pontus Jansson. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Suspended, Pontus Jansson. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Monk’s players defied expectations of them by mounting a concerted challenge for a place in the Premier League during his first season in charge but they were condemned to another year in the Championship on Saturday after an untimely run of one win from six matches.

Leeds recruited Monk on an initial 12-month deal last June – a contract which includes the option of a one-year extension – but the club’s co-owners, Massimo Cellino and Andrea Radrizzani, are yet to commit to retaining the 38-year-old next season.

Monk intimated that he would seek certain assurances, including a commitment to significantly strengthen the squad at Leeds, before agreeing to remain in charge but the former Swansea City boss said he would leave Cellino and Radrizzani to approach him in their own time.

Radrizzani, who could move to secure 100 per cent control of United from Cellino this summer, recently indicated on Twitter that negotiations would wait until after the end of the season.

Back in contention, Liam Cooper.

Back in contention, Liam Cooper.

Leeds will finish their campaign away at Wigan Athletic on Sunday.

“I’ve got one more game left,” Monk said. “You know me, I’ll be focused on that.

“The club have said when they want to speak so I have to respect that and even when that point comes, it’ll be a case of us both agreeing on the right way to go forward.

“I know clearly how I would take the club and the squad forward. The club will have their views as well. That’s all to come. When it happens, it happens.”

Asked if he wanted talks to begin immediately with the season effectively over, Monk said: “It’s not up to me.”

Monk admitted that his squad would need improving in the summer following a season of limited investment at Elland Road.

Leeds made 11 signings before the end of the summer transfer window but offset the cost of many of those deals with the sale of midfielder Lewis Cook to Bournemouth.

The January transfer window, meanwhile, saw the arrival of two new players, wingers Mo Barrow and Alfonso Pedraza from Swansea City and Villarreal on loan. The pair are expected to rejoin their parent clubs after Sunday’s game at Wigan.

“That’s natural,” Monk said, in response to questions about the need for recruitment. “Every club will say that.

“There’s a way of thinking about the summer but that’s for me to sit with the club and see what their views are going forward, and for them to understand my views.”

Leeds are now certain of finishing seventh in the league and are preparing to meet a Wigan side who have already been relegated after a 1-0 defeat at Reading.

Liam Cooper will return this weekend from a six-match ban imposed on him for stamping in a 1-0 defeat to Reading last month but fellow centre-back Pontus Jansson is suspended after receiving his 15th yellow card of the season against Norwich.

Jansson was cautioned for a second-half foul on Alex Pritchard and will serve a three-match ban, with two of those games carried over to the start of next season.