Big names linked as Leeds begin search for new boss

Confirmed: Leeds United sack Thomas Christiansen, Radrizzani thanks him for efforts

Sky Sports News understands Paul Heckingbottom could be appointed Leeds head coach on Tuesday after he held talks with the Elland Road club.

Christiansen, 44, was an unknown choice when Leeds decided he was the man to replace Garry Monk last summer. Any managerial change or uncertainty could hand their relegation rivals a boost - including Sunderland.

Leeds fans are delighted that Steve McClaren has been reportedly ruled out of being the next manager.

Despite the regular sale of key players, Heckingbottom took Barnsley to promotion via the League One play-off final in his first six months in the job and also claimed the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Thomas Christiansen was sacked by Leeds on Sunday night after a awful run of results.

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Christiansen, a former Barcelona and Spain striker of Danish descent, made his name in Cyprus and seemed to immediately settle in England, with Leeds topping the table in early September.

So that's evidently the benchmark for Radrizzani now and Christiansen was still on course to meet that standard when a Boxing Day win at Burton lifted Leeds up to fifth, with a four-point cushion on eighth-placed Middlesbrough.

40-year-old Heckingbottom was promoted by the Tykes after Lee Johnson's departure for Bristol City in 2016 and remains thankful to the club that gave him his big break, but the Elland Road club are preparing to make an attractive financial offer to lure the up-and-coming coach across Yorkshire.

Reading's Jaap Stam is said to be lined up as a replacement, with the former Manchester United star on the brink himself at Reading.

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