Even by Leeds United’s recent standards, the latest press conference conducted by Massimo Cellino was bizarre. Sitting with the returning Adam Pearson, who is back at Elland Road as chief executive officer, Cellino was non-committal on several occasions and even took time out for a cigarette break.

The one thing he was certain about was that he isn’t planning to sell Leeds right now. About the future of the coach for next season, the only certainty was that he wants to ensure he appoints the ‘right coach’ for the long term.

So Neil Redfearn’s future in charge remains uncertain. Redfearn’s contract expires at the end of June and the sooner a decision is made, the better it will be to ensure whoever is in charge for next season can start planning.

Whoever does lead Leeds into the 2015/16 campaign could be facing a difficult task. Leeds are just 10/3 with betfair to be relegated from the Championship when this article was produced, with only Rotherham, MK Dons and Huddersfield a shorter price. In terms of winning promotion back to the Premier League, Leeds are priced at 25/1.

Yet, given the size of the club, there will always be plenty of people linked with the manager’s job at Elland Road. Here, we take a look at five of those mentioned as being Leeds boss next season, including Redfearn.


Reports have claimed that Adkins has already been sounded out about replacing Redfearn next season and he is the favourite to take on the job. Adkins does have a pedigree when it comes to leading teams to promotion after twice taking Scunthorpe United into the Championship. He also led Southampton from League One to the Premier League before he was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino midway through the season. His sacking at the time seemed harsh, but given the way Southampton have progressed since then under Pochettino and now Ronald Koeman, you can’t say the club made a mistake. It also gave Adkins an insight into working at a club where you can never feel 100 per cent secure in your job. Adkins then spent 18 months at Reading, initially failing to keep them in the Premier League, before then being dismissed last December. If he wants to find out exactly how things work at Leeds then he could always give Brian McDermott – the man he succeeded at Reading – a call.


There always has to be a concern about a former favourite coming back to a club as manager. You only have to look at the experience of Gary McAllister for an example of how difficult it can be to replicate your success as a player at a club as a manager. Although that didn’t put Cellino off considering giving McAllister another chance last summer before Dave Hockaday got the job. Hasselbaink enjoyed two years at Leeds as a player in the late 1990s and finished joint-top scorer in the Premier League. As a manager, he is still relatively raw, but he has performed an excellent job since taking over at Burton Albion last November. He has guided the club into League One for the first time after winning the League Two title and he still has two years left on his contract. His agent has claimed that there has been interest from Leeds and Hasselbaink has not completely ruled out a role at Elland Road. However, he has said he is committed to Burton and he will also make any decision about his future with his head, rather than his heart. Given the current climate at Leeds, you would think that would mean he is not going to rush into taking the job, despite his history and affiliation with the club.


Jokanovic would certainly know what it is like to come into a potentially volatile situation as a manager where the owners are concerned given the trigger-happy nature at Watford prior to his appointment. Yet Jokanovic proved to be an inspired appointment at Vicarage Road as he oversaw the club’s automatic promotion back to the Premier League alongside Bournemouth.He has received a ‘very good offer’ to stay at Watford and there is reportedly a confidence he will sign a new contract. Yet his exploits have ensured there is plenty of interest in the former Chelsea midfielder, with speculation claiming he is on Cellino’s shortlist to be the next Leeds manager. Top-flight clubs Newcastle, Sunderland and West Ham are also reported to be keen on Jokanovic’s qualities as a manager. It would probably be a stretch to see Jokanovic turning down the chance of managing in the Premier League in favour of the Leeds job when outsiders are predicting a season of struggle next term. Stranger things have happened, though, and Jokanovic’s experiences at Watford could in one way make him the ideal fit for Leeds under the current regime.


The man currently in possession of the job, Redfearn has proved a reliable steadier of the ship, initially after Hockaday was sacked, and then again after the brief tenure of Darko Milanic. And, given the brief reigns of Hockaday and Milanic, it could be argued that Redfearn has done well to last as long as he has given he was appointed back in October. He has won a third of his games in charge and, while that isn’t spectacular, it was more than enough to keep Leeds out of the relegation dogfight in the closing weeks of the season as they finished 15th in the Championship. He has proven popular with the players and fans, but the suspension of his assistant Steve Thompson in early April didn’t exactly offer a demonstration of confidence or stability. Redfearn at least knows what it’s like to spend a few months working for the current owners, but it’s unclear whether he is the ‘right coach’ that Cellino is looking for. If he isn’t kept on as head coach, then he is going to be another club’s gain as he has demonstrated he has the qualities to be a success as a first-team manager.

8693235009_f73febba87UWE ROSLER

Among the leading names in the frame, Rosler saw his reputation take a knock following a wretched opening three months to the season which saw him sacked by Wigan Athletic. Prior to that, though, the former Manchester City striker had built up a reputation as a promising manager who is keen to play positive, attacking football. At Brentford, he lost the League One play-off final to Yeovil Town before having the club in a strong position for promotion prior to his departure for Wigan in December 2013. He took Wigan to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and into the Championship play-offs before losing to Queens Park Rangers narrowly over two legs. He certainly shouldn’t be judged on the latter months of his time at Wigan, which again offered Rosler the experience of people above him making knee-jerk decisions. He turned down the chance to coach German club 1860 Munich earlier this year as he is keen to have another go at managing in English football. He is available, which can probably be considered a plus, and there will be a hunger about him to prove his doubters wrong following his Wigan tenure.