Leicester in ‘advanced talks’ with ex-Premier League boss as manager hunt intensifies

Harry De Cosemo
Forest boss Cooper
Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper.

Leicester City are in advanced talks over making Steve Cooper their new manager, replacing Enzo Maresca after his move to Chelsea this summer.

The Foxes are preparing for their Premier League return after Maresca led them to the Championship title in his only season at the King Power Stadium before moving to the Blues after they sacked Mauricio Pochettino.

Cooper moves ahead of Potter in Leicester race?

They had reportedly been in deep negotiations with former Brighton and Chelsea boss Graham Potter, whom the Foxes had been keen to appoint in the past. But according to The Telegraph, Cooper is the man currently in the frame.

The Welshman has been out of work since leaving Nottingham Forest last season, and there would be an element of controversy about a move to his former club’s East Midlands neighbours.

Sam Wallace’s report says there is a view to an appointment as early as this week. However, The Guardian are stating that Potter is close to taking the job. That article suggests the 49-year-old, who was also targeted by Ajax last season, is still the preferred candidate. Talksport’s Alex Crook says Potter is stalling on an agreement, though there is no issue on personal terms, and that has led Leicester to grow impatient.

Cooper, and West Brom boss Carlos Corberan, have also been considered for the position.

Whoever takes over, though, could be faced with strong financial constraints as Leicester continue to be surrounded by threats over Profit and Sustainability Rules. They could be forced to sell players this summer. with star midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall the reported target of interest from Brighton last season.

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Potter’s reputation grew during his spell at the AMEX Stadium, which led to Chelsea’s interest in 2022. But despite signing a long-term deal at Stamford Bridge, was sacked the following April after failing to make an impact at the club. He has also managed in Sweden, and at Swansea City in the Championship.

Whoever is in charge, they face the prospect of an explosive start to the new season after Wednesday’s fixture release. Leicester face Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham at the King Power Stadium on Monday August 19, and that means a return to his former club for James Maddison after his departure following relegation in 2022-23.

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