Leeds United are on the verge of appointing ex-Watford boss Gracia as their new manager

News Desk
New Leeds United boss Javi Gracia

Leeds are on the verge of appointing Javi Gracia as their new boss after he was pictured arriving at Elland Road on Tuesday morning.

The 52-year-old Spaniard, who was Watford’s head coach between 2018 and 2019, looks set to become Jesse Marsch’s successor.

Marsch was sacked earlier this month after a defeat at Nottingham Forest, with under-21s manager Michael Skubala placed in interim charge for the last three games.

Gracia, who arrived in West Yorkshire on Tuesday morning, is reportedly expected to sign an initial deal until the end of the season and will be tasked with keeping the second-bottom club in the Premier League.

He has been out of work since leaving Al Sadd in June, but did well in his previous spell in England, taking the Hornets to the 2019 FA Cup final and securing an 11th-placed finish in the league before being sacked just four games into the following season.

His expected appointment will end a lengthy search for Marsch’s replacement, with the club having been linked with Andoni Iraola, Arne Slot and Alfred Schreuder.

Gracia looks set to be in charge in time for Saturday’s crunch game with Southampton at Elland Road on Saturday.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague reckons the appointment of Gracia “will work very well for Leeds” because he is flexible with his tactics.

Balague told BBC Sport: “He is a manager that doesn’t have just one style, he adapts to the types of players he has.

“That is why he will work very well for Leeds. Because if they have to become more defensive, he will be able to adjust that, if they need more goals, he will also be able to do it in training.

“I have been to see him a few times in old jobs and he develops a very close relationship with players, he was a player himself at the top level.

“And he knows what is required. He is quiet when has to be, raises his voice when he has to. He convinces players by working with them not imposing his personality. He reads a game very well especially during games, he is a great reader of games.”

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