Massimo Cellino has cast fresh doubt over the future of Leeds United head coach Steve Evans, saying: “I cannot work with English managers.”
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Cellino laid the ground for another change of first-team boss this summer, refusing to back Evans and accusing him again of “talking too much.”
Evans, who became the sixth head coach in Cellino’s two-year reign as Leeds owner in October, is four games away from the end of the Championship season and into the final throes of a contract which expires in June.
Leeds are 12th in the table after a 3-2 win over Reading on Saturday, a match which made Evans the longest-serving boss under Cellino at Elland Road.
The 53-year-old Scot has not been formally told by the club whether Cellino plans to replace him but the Italian gave clear indications that his next head coach will be foreign - while appearing to dismiss speculation linking him with former Italy international and World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro.
On Evans, Cellino repeated critical comments made by him after Leeds were routed 4-0 at Brighton in February.
“He talks too much,” Cellino told the Telegraph. “He has to learn to shut his mouth. I’ve told him so many times to stop, you have no idea. But he doesn’t.”
Cellino went on: “I cannot work with English (British) managers. I never want to learn. I give up. When am I going to find a manager in England who is actually a coach? They want to control everything. But it’s wrong because when they go you have to start all over again.
“Not everyone is Sir Alex Ferguson. All the other managers want to act like Ferguson but they don’t have the skills so they cause damage.”
In an outspoken interview, Cellino claimed that he had told Jose Mourinho “if you had the balls, you would come and manage Leeds.” Mourinho is expected to take charge of Manchester United this summer.
He also said that Carlo Ancelotti - manager-in-waiting at Bayern Munich - wanted to coach Leeds in the Premier League.
“Ancelotti called me,” Cellino said. “‘Massimo, bring the club into the Premier League and I come to you because the only place I miss and want to go back to is England’.”
Cellino, however, rejected links with Cannavaro, saying: “I’m 100 per cent not looking to appoint Cannavaro as manager.There’s not one chance.”
Evans’ future as head coach has looked increasingly precarious in the latter stages of this season but he refused to put pressure on Cellino to make a decision after Saturday’s win over Reading.
Cellino faced further anger from a section of the club’s supporters before that match. Several hundred marched from the centre of Leeds to Elland Road in protest against his running of United.
"We don’t mince our words here - there’s one owner, one boss and one decision-maker,” Evans said. “When he’s ready to make that decision, Steve Evans will go to the meeting.
“You have to let the people responsible make the decision in a timeframe which suits them but I’ve never hidden the fact that I want to be Leeds United head coach."