Garry Monk revealed that he was still awaiting talks about a new deal at Leeds United but insisted he was “focused on right now” with his current contract set to run out in the summer.
United’s head coach is nearing the end of the 12-month deal he negotiated when Leeds moved to appoint him last June and admitted he was yet to begin discussions about an extension, despite his performance in the job.
Leeds are closing in on qualification for the Championship play-offs with 12 games of the season to go, the first time since 2011 that the club have made a serious bid for a top-six finish.
Monk, who takes his side to Birmingham City on Friday night, arrived as a replacement for Steve Evans with his reputation built on a largely successful spell in charge of Swansea City in the Premier League but his appointment at Leeds brought him to a club who had been hindered by years of controversy and under-achievement.
The deal signed by the 37-year-old last summer – originally announced as a 12-month rolling contract – runs to the end of this term but is understood to include an option giving Leeds the right to extend it for a second year.
United, however, are likely to seek to tie Monk to longer terms in the months ahead with his stock rising on the back of an impressive first campaign at Elland Road.
Monk has been linked with the vacancy at Scottish club Rangers in the past month, although he previously dismissed the speculation as “rumours”.
Asked about his situation at Leeds, Monk said: “I haven’t spoken to the club but to be honest, I’m very much focused on the football and getting my team prepared for Friday. My contract runs to the summer so there’s still a lot of time to speak about that situation.
“My priority right now is preparing this team for an important game and an important three points. I’m contracted to the summer. We haven’t sat down and spoken but there’s a lot of time between now and the end of the season. It’s not important right now. The most important bit is that we focus on this game on Friday.”
Leeds co-owner Andrea Radrizzani, who bought a 50 per cent stake in United from Massimo Cellino in early January, said in the days after his investment that the club planned to commit to a more substantial contract for a head coach who has been described by both Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and Cardiff City’s Neil Warnock as the Championship’s “manager of the year”.
Speaking in January, Radrizzani told the YEP: “The intention of both parties and Garry is to continue (with Monk as head coach). We will sit down at a certain point and discuss the details.”
Leeds can open up an 11-point gap over seventh-placed Fulham with a win at St Andrews tomorrow and Monk was reluctant to be distracted by talk of his future with promotion on the agenda.
“I have to be honest, my focus is on right now,” Monk said. “We haven’t achieved anything yet and we have to stay focused. My side of it isn’t important.
“I haven’t spoken to the club but I’m contracted to the summer and I’m sure there’ll come a point where we discuss the future. Right now we need to keep preparing the team to achieve winning performances and get this club to a better place.”