Leeds United: Whites finalising Milanic takeover

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LEEDS UNITED were last night finalising the details of Darko Milanic’s move after he agreed a two-year deal to become the club’s first foreign coach.

The former Sturm Graz manager is expected to be unveiled as head coach today after jetting into England late yesterday afternoon to finalise terms.

Milanic was due to arrive in Leeds to meet with club owner Massimo Cellino last night ahead of formally signing his deal and taking training for the first time today.

The 46-year-old bid his farewells to Austrian Bundesliga outfit Graz at an emotional press conference on Sunday after agreeing a contract with Leeds.

Milanic, fluent in several languages including English, is to become the first Slovenian to coach in England, having made his name on the managerial front at Maribor, who he guided to nine domestic trophies, including four titles, in his five-year stint in charge.

Milanic, whose Maribor side knocked Glasgow Rangers out of the Europa League in 2011-12, is to be joined at Leeds by Serbian-born Novica Nikcevic, his assistant at Graz.

The former Slovenia and Yugoslavia international is believed to have come to Cellino’s attention through his agent Amir Ruznic, well known to the United owner, with the pair brokering a deal in August to take Slovenian-born play-maker Zan Benedicic to Leeds on a season-long loan from AC Milan.

Milanic, who captained Slovenia at Euro 2000, activated a get-out clause in his contract allowing him to leave Graz on Friday and officially stood down after the league clash with Ried the following day.

He is now eager to start his adventure in England, having described the offer to coach Leeds as an opportunity from ‘another world’ and something he could not turn down.

He said: “This is a tremendous opportunity that I had to accept as who knows when such an offer will come again?

“Sturm is my club and I had great times. But then an offer came from another world.”

Milanic is owner Cellino’s second permanent appointment since becoming United owner earlier this year.

His predecessor David Hockaday was axed after just seventy days in charge, with caretaker head coach Neil Redfearn having taken temporary charge of the club’s last four Championship games, which have yielded ten points from a possible 12.

Redfearn is expected to have increased involvement with the first team alongside his duties running the academy after impressing Cellino greatly during his spell at the helm.

A late winner from Frank Mulhern gave United academy a 2-1 victory at Millwall yesterday.

Luke Parkin also found the net in the win.

Gary Rowett and Paul Heckingbottom.

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