Leeds United are reportedly set to make Patrick Vieira their next manager – and they will reportedly confirm the Frenchman’s appointment on Friday of this week.
The Whites are adjusting to life back in the Championship following relegation from the Premier League last season. They crashed out of the top tier with a whimper after failing to win any of their last nine games. And reknown firefighter Sam Allardyce could even save them, the former England boss managing just one point from 12 available.
Allardyce was Leeds’ third manager of a thoroughly-miserable season. Now with the club under new ownership, new stewards, 49ers Enterprises, have been holding interviews over their first managerial appointment.
Having seen two options drop out the running in Andoni Iraola and Carlos Corberan, that hunt has been narrowed down to two names. To that end, former Norwich boss Daniel Farke and ex-Crystal Palace chief Patrick Vieira are the pair under consideration.
Now, according to The Guardian, Leeds have decided to go for Vieira. And the arrival of the legendary Premier League star will reportedly be made official on Friday – the day of his 47th birthday.
The Frenchman has moved to the very top of Leeds’ shortlist after a final round of interviews this week.
And he has impressed them with his vision for the club, together with his experience of managing at Premier League level. Their only concern apparently centred around Vieira’s lack of experience at Championship level.
However, with an instant return to the Premier League in their sights, Leeds hope Vieira is an appointment with promotion very much in mind.
Vieira ready to make a new goalkeeper his first Leeds signing
To that end, he will reportedly sign an initial one-year deal with an option to extend by a further year.
With Vieira’s appointment closing in, Leeds are now turning their attention to possible first-team additions.
The club have this morning learned their opponents for the forthcoming season with the release of the fixture list for the 2023/24 season. Leeds will start with a home date against Cardiff on August 5, with Birmingham away to follow.
However, they still have a number of positions in the side that need filling – with a new goalkeeper arguably their first port of call.
Leeds are preparing to sell Illan Meslier to the highest bidder with the Frenchman making clear his wish to move on amid links to Chelsea.
And with Joel Robles yet to be offered a new deal, Football League World claims the Whites are looking at three possible options.
They are Freddie Woodman, Karl Darlow and Marek Rodak, all of whom have strong Championship experience.
Per the report, Leeds have spoken to the trio and plan to sign at least one ahead of the upcoming season.
Leeds targets come with plenty of experience
It’s uncertain which of the three Leeds will go for.
Darlow remains on Newcastle’s books but looks set to leave for a discounted fee. The 32-year-old is currently third choice at St James’.
Woodman is currently on Preston’s books, and has a wealth of experience in the second tier. Starting at Newcastle, he counts Swansea and Bournemouth among his former clubs.
Rodak, meanwhile, is still on Fulham’s books, but is not in their first-team plans. He has spent the last two seasons at Rotherham, helping the Millers stay afloat in the second tier.
All three look available for discounted fees.