Short-term success can earn Javi Gracia a deal in the medium to longer term at Leeds United

JAVI GRACIA has been handed a chance to earn a Leeds United contract for the medium to longer term – but only if he successfully attends to the short term.

Second-from-bottom United have agreed terms with the Spaniard to become their permanent head coach, subject to the 52-year-old obtaining a work permit.

The ex-Watford head coach has signed a 'flexible contract' with Leeds, who have won just two league games since August 21.

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In a statement, Leeds said that they were hopeful that Gracia's first game in charge would be in Saturday’s crunch game with bottom-placed Southampton, subject to 'obtaining the necessary work permissions.'

New Leeds United head coach Javi Gracia. Picture: Clint Hughes/PANew Leeds United head coach Javi Gracia. Picture: Clint Hughes/PA
New Leeds United head coach Javi Gracia. Picture: Clint Hughes/PA

Taking on a side who equalled a club record run of 10 games without a Premier League win last weekend, Gracia is assigned with providing clarity, organisation and lifting confidence levels in double-quick time in order to arrest United's alarming slide.

Back in 2018-19, Gracia took Watford to their highest-league finish – 11th – in over 30 years and also led the Hertfordshire club to just their second-ever FA Cup final in their history.

Leeds may still be in the FA Cup, but Gracia’s remit is all about ensuring that United retain their place in the Premier League.

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Gracia's managerial CV includes two third-tier title wins in his native Spain with Pontevedra and Cadiz, a cup runners-up medal with Watford and a Qatar Stars League championship with Al Sadd last year.

It is likely that Gracia will bring in some backroom staff from Spain with Michael Skubala to continue working with the first team.

Gracia's long-time assistant Zigor Aranalde, who has playing experience in England with Walsall, Carlisle United and Sheffield Wednesday, briefly, is tipped to join him.