Leeds United: Whites eye Celtic scout as new sporting director

Steve Thompson
Steve Thompson
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Leeds United have identified Celtic head scout David Moss as a potential candidate for the role of sporting director at Elland Road, the YEP has learned.

Moss is among a list of options drawn up by Leeds and he is understood to have spoken to the club about the position earlier this week.

The 46-year-old currently leads Celtic’s scouting network and he has worked for the Scottish champions since 2010, initially with their academy.

He also managed the academies at both Crystal Palace and Swansea City having retired as a professional player in 2003.

His career took him to Doncaster Rovers, Chesterfield and Dunfermline before ending at Swansea.

United’s interest in him is another indication that the club’s current sporting director, Nicola Salerno, will vacate that position before the start of next season.

Salerno, who joined Leeds after Massimo Cellino’s takeover last April, has a year left on his contract at Elland Road but he has been absent from the club since becoming embroiled in the controversy surrounding the suspension of United assistant boss Steve Thompson last month.

Thompson was unexpectedly suspended on April 2 via a letter signed by Salerno.

Leeds have not commented on the specific reasons for the decision but director Andrew Umbers told the YEP recently that there had been “a breakdown in communication” and “a breakdown of trust” between Salerno and Thompson.

Cellino claimed that Salerno had resigned from his job in the aftermath of that controversy but the 58-year-old is still on the books at Elland Road. He is believed to be back in Italy at present.

The former Cagliari sporting director handled much of United’s transfer business last summer, a window in which the club signed 15 new players, but Cellino is believed to want a sporting director with more knowledge of the English leagues.

Other alternatives to Moss are being considered but Moss would bring substantial experience to Leeds at a time when the club are drawing breath after a turbulent Championship season.

United finished 15th in the table and Cellino was absent for most of the second half of the campaign following his disqualification as owner by the Football League.

That ban ended last Sunday, 24 hours after the final game of the season, and the Italian rejoined the board at Elland Road as chairman on Wednesday after passing the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test.

He and head coach Neil Redfearn, however, are still to hold any discussions about a deal to extend Redfearn’s contract at Leeds.

The 49-year-old’s situation is as precarious as Salerno’s with his existing deal due to expire on June 30.

Cellino, who appointed Redfearn as a replacement for Darko Milanic in November, is still considering whether to take up an option to retain him for another 12 months.