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War of words begins after Monk leaves Leeds
Thursday, 25th May 2017 18:42 by Tim Whelan

Just when it all seemed to be going so well and we could look forward to a new era of progress and stability, today we got the shock news that Gary Monk has decided not to continue as first team manager.

Yesterday if seemed a foregone conclusion that Monk would be staying, now that Andrea Radrizzani had completed his takeover of the club. Our new Chairman was going to exercise the option to extend the Manager's contract for another 12 months and immediately begin negotiations for a longer term deal, though it was reported that Monk wanted assurances that the club would back him up with sufficient funds to get the players he wanted.

Today Radrizzani has been quite adamant on his personal Twitter account that he did everything he could to keep Monk at the club, so he has “no regrets” about his departure. And there was of course a statement on the club’s official website:-

“Mr Radrizzani has met with Garry twice since taking over at Elland Road earlier this week and during the second meeting yesterday it became clear that Garry was considering life beyond Leeds United as at no time did Garry wish to discuss terms for a longer contract. Following that meeting yesterday Garry’s agent requested that the option was not exercised and his resignation was received this morning.”

“Whilst we are deeply saddened by Garry’s decision, there is no individual bigger than our Club and we will now begin a process to identify and appoint a new Head Coach to take the club to the next level. We thank Garry for his contribution during his time at Leeds United, we are disappointed that we could not continue on this journey together.”

But a report on Sky Sports has given a different story, claiming that Monk decided to try his luck elsewhere because “he did not feel the club had any real intention to keep him long term”. And many Leeds fans have criticised Radrizzani on Twitter for messing up so early during his reign, saying that if he was that keen to keep Monk he could have offered him a new deal much earlier.

It is quite possible that Monk has already got a new job lined up, as several reasonably high profile clubs parted company with their managers during the period of time when Cellino and Radrizzani had left him unsure of his future. And we could end up swapping managers with Middlesboro. The odds of Aitor Karanka taking over are 4/6 according to Sky Bet, which puts him way ahead of the other contenders.

That suggest that somebody has got word of things going on in the background, and maybe that Leeds have already made an approach. Karanka did of course get Boro up in 2015/16, but they fell well short of the standard needed to keep them in the Premier League and played some astonishingly dull football in the process.

And even during their promotion season there was a strange period when Karanka announced he was going to resign but then didn’t, and episode that has never been explained. Other names to me mentioned are Marco Silva (‘set to leave Hull’, apparently), Simon Grayson, Claudio Ranieri, Nigel Pearson and Steve McClaren.

So where do we go from here?

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Photo: Action Images

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