Leeds United: Neil Warnock set for Whites hot seat

Neil Warnock
Neil Warnock
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Leeds UNITED were on the verge of naming Neil Warnock as their new manager today after a round of talks with the former Sheffield United boss.

Warnock met with Leeds chairman Ken Bates and chief executive Shaun Harvey in Monaco yesterday as the club edged closer to securing a replacement for sacked manager Simon Grayson.

United have been without a full-time boss since Grayson’s dismissal a fortnight ago but Warnock emerged as their preferred candidate last night and looks set to take up the post at Elland Road.

Leeds’ Championship season is on a knife-edge with the club six points adrift of the play-offs positions and they have looked to Warnock to revive their faltering campaign.

The 63-year-old travelled with Harvey to meet Bates in Monte Carlo yesterday and he looks likely to be named as Grayson’s successor ahead of next weekend’s match with Portsmouth.

United have been in the hands of academy coach and caretaker Neil Redfearn for the past three games, and he was due to take charge of this afternoon’s Championship clash with Doncaster Rovers at Elland Road.

But his hopes of landing the job for the rest of the season were ended by successive defeats to Brighton and Coventry City, and he will make way next week if Leeds confirm the appointment of Warnock.

Warnock’s CV boasts seven promotions during his managerial career, one short of the outright English record, and he has guided both South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers to the Premier League in the past six years.

He was sacked by QPR last month having led them to the Championship title last season but he is understood to have finalised a severance package with the London club, freeing him to take up a new job.

He was interviewed for the vacant manager’s post at Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week and also attracted the attention of managerless Huddersfield Town, but he has always favoured the option of taking over at Elland Road.

Speaking earlier this week, Warnock, pictured inset, said: “I’ve got seven promotions and I want one for the record (which he currently shares with Graham Taylor and Dave Bassett). I’ve had some interesting calls.”

The prospect of Warnock’s appointment comes amid spiralling pressure on Leeds, caused by a poor run of form and a lengthy delay in naming Grayson’s replacement.

Grayson was sacked on February 1 after a 4-1 defeat to Birmingham City, bringing to an end his three-year reign.

Countless candidates have been linked with the vacancy, among them former Sunderland and Huddersfield boss Steve Bruce who is understood to have been a leading contender.

lACCRINGTON have completed the signing of Hull City midfielder Jamie Devitt on a one-month loan deal.

The 21-year-old is Paul Cook’s first signing as Stanley manager but has already experienced League Two football this season during a loan spell at Bradford City.

Colchester United have signed highly-rated West Ham United striker Freddie Sears on a month-long emergency loan.

Sears has previously enjoyed loan spells at Scunthorpe United, Coventry and Crystal Palace.

Tom Pearce made his Leeds United debut on Saturday afternoon against Sheffield Wednesday.

How did Tom Pearce fare on his Leeds United debut?