By Alex Stevens
Massimo Cellino has revealed he has tried to entice Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti to take on the Leeds manager’s job.
Amid reports that Steve Evans will become the sixth manager of the controversial owner’s two-year Elland Road tenure to be axed, Cellino has spoken of his ideal candidate for the hot seat at the Championship’s best supported club.
The Mail has claimed that Italy World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro was in Leeds on Saturday for talks and is close to agreeing a deal to replace Evans.
Cellino has denied that Cannavaro is the next in line to take on one of the most perilous positions in English football.
But he has spoken freely of his attempts to persuade an elite manager to take on the task of steering Leeds back to the top flight and a place in the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho is in line to take over at Manchester United this summer but Cellino has talked to the Portugese about stepping down to the Championship.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Cellino said: “I told him, ‘If you had the balls, you should come and manage Leeds. Bring Leeds into the Premier League and then the Champions League. That’s balls.’ You want to play football – come with me to Leeds.
“Mourinho, like others, has to ask himself if he is still a coach. How do you find out? By going to Manchester United?
“Ancelotti called me. ‘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’. For me a good coach still has to show he’s a good coach. Come here and show me.”
Evans has consistently said he wants to remain in charge at Leeds and admitted after the win over Reading that he is waiting for Cellino to invite him to hold contract discussions.
That is looking an increasingly distant prospect as Cellino failed to provide the Scot with any reassurances about his future, with his contract expiring in June.
“He talks too much,” Cellino added to 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.”
Brian McDermott, Dave Hockaday, Darko Milanic, Neil Redfearn and Uwe Rosler have already been shown the exit door by Cellino.
Evans passed Redfearn on Saturday to become Cellino’s longest-serving manager with 34 matches at the helm.
In other Leeds news, a member of Evans’ backroom staff has decided to quit at the end of the season.