Zola is reportedly wanted by Leeds owner Cellino (©GettyImages)
Zola is reportedly wanted by Leeds owner Cellino (©GettyImages).

New Leeds owner considers Zola approach

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Leeds United's new owner, the controversial Italian Massimo Cellino, is considering sacking current manager Brian McDermott and replacing him with compatriot Gianfranco Zola, according to reports. 

Zola, 47, is currently out of work, having resigned from his position at Watford in December 2013. However, he impressed during his short stint at Vicarage Road as he led the side to the Play-Off Final, only to be beaten by Crystal Palace.

Cellino is believed to favour a training ground coach working under a director of football as opposed to one manager overseeing all aspects of the club, something that the Chelsea legend would appear willing to do. He previously worked under the Pozzo family at Watford, who brought in players from other clubs they own - Udinese and Granada - for Zola to work with. 

The two have also worked together before - Zola opted to end his illustrious playing career with Italian side Cagliari, despite them then being in Serie B, who are also owned by Cellino. However, it is believed he is looking to sell the Italian side as soon as possible, having recently sacked his 36th coach in 22 years as owner, a figure which may concern Zola.

Beleaguered boss Brian McDermott looks unlikely to continue as Leeds' manager once the takeover is complete; Cellino has sacked him once already, although he did not have control of the club at that point and McDermott was subsequently reinstated. He is also rumoured to have made derogatory comments about the former Reading boss in a phone call with a Leeds fan.

He told the fan: "If he’s going to do the right thing” but added that “if I realise that he’s not good for the team, I have to sack him”, while suggesting McDermott spends too much time moaning and not enough time coaching. He claimed that he was unaware the phone call was being recorded, having also expressed his disbelief at the side's wage bill and lambasted the team as a whole, describing them as the worst team he has seen.

The outspoken Italian aims to have Leeds back in the Premier League by 2015-16, with many believing that it will be Zola, who has Premier League experience with West Ham, at the helm...providing he can last that long without being sacked.

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