Garry Monk’s Elland Road departure has sparked an early post-season scramble for his services after the former Swansea City manager resigned just two days after Andrea Radrizzani completed his takeover of Leeds United.
Monk, who was appointed head coach on a rolling 12-month contract only last June, tendered his resignation before Leeds activated a clause allowing them to extend his stay until the end of next season. The 38-year-old quit with several Premier League clubs and newly relegated sides seeking a manager but his contractual situation at Elland Road is also understood to have influenced his decision.
Monk is now scheduled to speak to Middlesbrough, who had been very close to appointing Nigel Pearson. However, with Crystal Palace, Watford and the recently relegated pair of Sunderland and Hull City also on the look-out for new managers, Monk will top many of those shortlists.
The former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka is an early favourite for the Leeds post. Victor Orta, former head of recruitment at the Riverside under Karanka, has been targeted for a technical director’s role at Elland Road.
Radrizzani, an Italian businessman, completed his buy-out of Massimo Cellino only on Tuesday. He immediately signalled his intention to activate the 12-month option in Monk’s rolling contract but the former Swansea City manager wanted a new, longer-term deal.
In a statement, however, Leeds claimed Monk’s head had been turned before a meeting with Radrizzani on Wednesday and the new owner insisted a long-term contract was an option. Radrizzani tweeted: “Shocking news from GM. We were keen to do 3 years deal. We never receive any request from him and his agent. No regrets, we did our best.”
Leeds had previously stated: “We are shocked and disappointed by Garry’s decision but his resignation has been reluctantly accepted by chairman Andrea Radrizzani. Andrea made it clear to the media yesterday that his intention was to exercise the club’s option to extended the manager’s contract for another 12 months and immediately begin negotiations for a longer-term deal.
With Leeds just missing out on the play-offs and some off field stability in sight there will be no shortage of interest in the position.