Redfearn deal still up in the air as talks with Leeds stall

Neil Redfearn’s planned appointment as Leeds United head coach remained up in the air last night after a fresh round of talks with Massimo Cellino failed to force an agreement over Redfearn’s financial package.

Neil Redfearn

Cellino and Redfearn are continuing to negotiate the terms of the 49-year-old’s promotion from the academy, five days after United’s owner announced that Redfearn would be installed as the club’s new first-team boss.

The Italian offered the head coach’s role to Redfearn shortly after sacking Darko Milanic on Saturday, instructing him to take training this week and promising him a permanent run in a job he held as caretaker last month.

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Redfearn verbally agreed to step into the void created by Milanic’s dismissal after talks with Cellino on Monday but they have so far failed to shake hands on a contract, despite regular communication between them in the past 48 hours.

Cellino met with Redfearn again yesterday afternoon but their latest discussions ended without a deal over Redfearn’s salary in his new post.

The club’s academy manager, who was due to take training as planned at Thorp Arch this morning, wanted his appointment as head coach to be confirmed before Leeds play Cardiff City in Wales on Saturday and is seeking an improved wage from Cellino.

Redfearn was unavailable for comment last night and Cellino has also said nothing since indicating on Saturday evening that Redfearn’s appointment in place of Milanic was a formality.

Speaking after a 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers – the last of Milanic’s six games in charge – Cellino said: “Neil Redfearn will be head coach, 100 per cent. The job is his.

“The players know him, they respect him and they play for him.

“He plays attacking football, he plays the football we want to play. And he gets results.

“This guy (Milanic) had a losing mentality. He never played like he wanted to win.”

The end of Milanic’s 32-day reign left Leeds without a permanent head coach for the second time this season following the dismissal of David Hockaday at the end of August.

United have not won in six matches and fell to 18th in the Championship during Milanic’s short tenure.

Redfearn, who took 10 points from four games as caretaker, has been preparing for Saturday’s visit to Cardiff all week and he asked Cellino to ratify his appointment in time for that fixture.

On the playing front, striker Souleymane Doukara is back in contention after serving a one-match ban against Wolves but Rodolph Austin and Billy Sharp could be absent for the second match running.

The pair have muscular injuries and both are doubtful with the squad due to travel to Wales tomorrow.