Leeds United announce the appointment of Gracia as new boss on ‘flexible’ contract

News Desk
Leeds appoint Javi Gracia

Leeds have announced the appointment of former Watford boss Javi Gracia as Jesse Marsch’s successor, subject to obtaining a work permit.

Spaniard Gracia, 52, who led the Hornets to the 2019 FA Cup final, has signed what Leeds described as a “flexible” contract to replace Marsch, who was sacked just over two weeks ago.

Leeds slipped into the relegation zone for the first time this season after Saturday’s defeat at Everton and face bottom club Southampton in Gracia’s first game in charge at Elland Road on Saturday.

A statement on the club’s website read: ‘Leeds United are delighted to announce the club have agreed terms with Javi Gracia to become men’s first team head coach, subject to obtaining a work permit.

‘The experienced 52-year-old has agreed a flexible contract at Elland Road.

‘Born in Spain, Gracia had a successful playing career for Valladolid, Real Sociedad, Villarreal and Cordoba.

‘Since retiring and moving into management, he has taken charge of a number of teams in Europe including Osasuna, Malaga, Watford and Valencia.

‘No stranger to the top-flight of English football, Gracia replaced Marco Silva at Watford in January 2018, with the club five points above the drop zone.  He went on to help the club secure their Premier League status with games to spare, as they finished 14th, eight points above the relegation places.

‘In his first full season in charge at Vicarage Road, he was named the Manager of the Month in August 2019 and guided the Hornets to an 11th placed finish, their highest ever in the Premier League.

‘He also led the club to the 2019 FA Cup final, for just the second time in the club’s history.

‘Still hugely popular amongst the Watford fan base, Gracia was relieved of his duties just four games into the 2019/20 season, despite the success of the previous campaign.

‘Following his spell in England, he took over at La Liga side Valencia, whilst most recently replaced Xavi at Al Sadd, following his move to FC Barcelona, helping them win the Qatar Stars League.

‘The club hope Gracia’s first game in charge of the Whites will be Saturday’s Premier League clash against Southampton at Elland Road, subject to obtaining the necessary work permissions.’

READ MORE: Javi Gracia is better than ‘better than nothing’ and for Leeds right now that could be enough