Saunders, not Redfearn, is Chesterfield’s choice

Leeds United's head coach Neil Redfearn has yet to have talks with Massimo Cellino about his Elland Road future (Picture Bruce Rollinson).
Leeds United's head coach Neil Redfearn has yet to have talks with Massimo Cellino about his Elland Road future (Picture Bruce Rollinson).
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LEEDS uNITED head coach Neil Redfearn’s future remains uncertain at Elland Road but last night it appeared that he is not heading for the manager’s job at League One Chesterfield.

Paul Cook left to take charge of Portsmouth in the wake of the Spireites’ play-off defeat on Sunday and Redfearn, whose deal at Elland Road expires next month, was said to be among the candidates to replace him.

But as the 49-year-old awaits contact from United’s board about his position, the Derbyshire club were said to be ready to announce former Doncaster Rovers boss Dean Saunders as their new manager.

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino’s Football League ban expired just over a week ago, but he has yet to speak to Redfearn about the option Leeds have to keep him for another 12 months should they choose.

His existing deal expires at the end of June and affords United the right to retain him as head coach for the 2015-16 season and also grants Redfearn the chance to return to his former job as academy boss.

Leeds have been linked with several potential replacements should they decide not to extend Redfearn’s tenure, among them Brentford boss Mark Warburton, Burton’s Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and former Southampton and Reading boss Nigel Adkins.

Redfearn saw his assistant, Steve Thompson, suspended without explanation with seven games of the campaign to go and his reinstatement would be one of the head coach’s key demands if United move to renew his own deal.

Whoever is in charge will be free to sign players without restriction this summer after the Football League lifted their 
Financial Fair Play (FFP) transfer embargo. United have satisfied the Football League that they are compliant with FFP rules.

Leeds were punished in January after losses of more than £22m in the 2013-14 financial year – most amassed prior to owner Cellino’s takeover – broke limits set for Championship clubs.

They were one of three second-tier sides, along with Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest, who breached FFP regulations.

The embargo did not prevent United from signing players completely, but the club were limited to loanees and free transfers on wages of less than £12,000 a week.