Leeds United: New boss Christiansen brings in his own men as Monk’s exit

Pep Clotet, left, and James Beattie are set to join Garry Monk at Middlesbrough.
Pep Clotet, left, and James Beattie are set to join Garry Monk at Middlesbrough.
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Leeds United have made three additions to Thomas Christiansen’s backroom team after completing a clear-out of Garry Monk’s coaching staff

New head coach Christiansen has named Spaniard Julio Banuelos, formerly his number two at APOEL and AEK Larnaca, as his Elland Road assistant, ending Pep Clotet’s time with Leeds.

Clotet worked as assistant to Monk this season but his future has been in doubt since Monk resigned from United last month and took over as manager of Middlesbrough.

United did not consider Clotet for the head coach’s job but were open to the possibility of him remaining at the club.

Director of football Victor Orta, however, confirmed that Clotet would part company with Leeds ahead of the expiry of his contract on June 30.

First-team coach James Beattie and goalkeeping coach Darryl Flahavan will also leave Elland Road with a view to joining Monk at Middlesbrough.

Beattie and Flahavan were also under contract until the end of this month.

Leeds, meanwhile, have appointed Marcos Abad as their new goalkeeping coach after prior spells with Orta at Middlesbrough and Elche. Ivan Torres is joining the club as a fitness coach.

Orta, who was speaking publicly for the first time since arriving at Leeds after a spell as Middlesbrough’s head of recruitment, said: “Pep a few weeks ago communicated that he wanted a new challenge in his career.

With the situation with Garry Monk, now we have finished the release of all of his staff because Garry wants to stay with his staff at his new team Middlesbrough.

“(Christiansen) has chosen two good people in his staff. His (assistant) is Julio Banuelos, who has really good experience in Spain in the lower divisions and of winning promotion at Burgos and Mirandes.

“The goalkeeping coach is Marcos Abad who worked with me at Middlesbrough for a couple of months and at Elche.

“He had a really big offer from China but Thomas convinced him to arrive here with us. We have one or two positions still to discuss but we have a really good staff at this moment.”

Orta is heading up United’s recruitment team and the club are still to make their first new signing of the summer having converted winger Hadi Sacko’s loan from Sporting Lisbon into a permanent deal earlier this month.

Orta promised that more players would arrive but insisted every deal would remain “in our budget”, saying: “In this market all the people understand the English thing.

“It is like a tax. If you are a Spanish club and ask for one player, you have one amount. If you ask for an English club, it is double.

“I prefer the man and not the name. For me that is important.

“Like with (Christiansen), we want players who want to play for Leeds and not only for money. My task is to try and understand which players want to play for Leeds United. If they lose money on other offers and want to play for Leeds, this player is right for Leeds.”

United will complete the full time signing of Pontus Jansson from Torino on July 1 but 30-goal striker Chris Wood has been the subject of speculation already this summer after finishing the season as the Championship’s top scorer.

The forward, who is with New Zealand’s national squad at the Confederations Cup in Russia, has two years left on his contract at Elland Road and asked if Leeds would retain him, Orta said: “I hope, but in football nobody can say 100 per cent.

“I’m really happy to read a good interview with Chris Wood a week ago which said he was really happy with the new manager and is really happy with the club.

“For me, it is the best situation for Chris and I hope he stays.”