'One day you will manage the club'' - Leeds United hero reveals ownership chat and his job hopes

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Former Leeds United hero Lee Bowyer insists he could get the fans onside and get the Whites promoted back to the Premier League.

Bowyer's managerial experience has come at Charlton Athletic and Birmingham City, where he spent 16 months in charge before being sacked in July 2022. The 46-year-old has not managed since but says his relationship with Elland Road, having made 265 appearances for Leeds, is part of his belief that he could be the man they are looking for this summer.

Any managerial appointment looks set to wait until the current ownership picture clears up, with talks over a takeover by 49ers Enterprises currently progressing. There is hope around the club that a deal can be finalised in the next few days in order to allow a summer of change to begin. Leeds need not only a manager but a head of recruitment and a considerable squad rebuild.

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Bowyer says he has expressed his interest in the job previously, as recently as when Javi Gracia, Jesse Marsch's replacement, was sacked. Leeds plumped instead for Sam Allardyce, giving him the final four games of the season, but the ex-England boss was unable to guide them to safety and they suffered relegation to the Championship.

"Without going into too much detail there was a message or two exchanged and then the decision from the club was to go with Big Sam because of experience," he told Jim White on talkSPORT.

"Unfortunately for the football club that didn't work out but going forward I'd like to think we'd have a conversation at some stage and try and put something together.

"For sure [I believed I could keep them up.] When I went in at Birmingham, I know it's a completely different league, everybody said Birmingham were dead and buried when I took over. Would I have fancied my chances to maybe keep Leeds up? Of course I would. But that's the past, you can't change the past.

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"I have a connection with the club, I understand the club and I think that's important for whoever goes in there next. If I got the call I'd love to go there and get that club going again, get the fans onside, get the place back. I'd jump at the chance."

JOB HOPE - Lee Bowyer believes he has what it takes to get Leeds United promoted out of the Championship and back to the Premier League. Pic: GettyJOB HOPE - Lee Bowyer believes he has what it takes to get Leeds United promoted out of the Championship and back to the Premier League. Pic: Getty
JOB HOPE - Lee Bowyer believes he has what it takes to get Leeds United promoted out of the Championship and back to the Premier League. Pic: Getty

Bowyer's time in the Championship with the Addicks and the Blues is part of the reason why he believes he would make an ideal candidate. And though majority owner Radrizzani could be set to depart as early as this week, Bowyer says he has a relationship with the Italian businessman.

"I know the Championship now from a few years of management, I understand it, I watched it all last season and you analyse and see what it takes to get promotion," he said.

"I believe if I went in there I would get them promoted. I've spoken to them in the past, I've been to Elland Road many times and had conversations with the owner and we get on really well. He's always said he likes me, especially when I got promotion with Charlton against all the odds. We played against Leeds in the Championship, three, four or five games in and we beat Leeds. He came in and said how did you do that, what was your thinking so I explained certain things, he said you're really good and one day you will manage this football club. Let's just see what happens."

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Leeds, whose affairs continue to be headed up by CEO Angus Kinnear while takeover talks go on, have already been in discussion with a number of potential appointees. Club sources say a return to aggressive, intense football played by one of the fittest sides in the division is the aim. Players are due to return for pre-season on July 2, by which time a manager will ideally have been appointed and had an opportunity to influence recruitment and preparation plans for a promotion bid.