By Alex Stevens
Nottingham Forest have denied they have made an approach to Steve Evans to become their new manager, according to the Nottingham Post.
It was claimed earlier on Wednesday by the Yorkshire Evening Post that Forest had contacted Evans after the Easter weekend about replacing Dougie Freedman at the City ground.
But the club have denied that is the case, with the Nottingham Post reporting that Martin O’Neill is the No1 choice of the Championship club.
The twist comes as Evans admits Leeds owner Massimo Cellino is aware there is interest in him from other clubs.
Evans has revealed the pair spoke for some time last Friday but the controversial Italian owner ignored the subject of the Scot’s position with just weeks remaining on his contract.
The 53-year-old has been under immense pressure regarding his Leeds tenure despite the club avoiding relegation from the Championship and taking 10 points from their last four matches.
Evans has been on the end of several dressing downs by Cellino in recent months with the Italian owner accusing the manager of talking too much to the media and claiming he finds it impossible to work with English managers.
Leeds are 12th in the table after the 2-2 draw at Hull on Saturday and there is a growing expectancy that Evans’ contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the season.
Evans said the issue of a deal to replace his current agreement was not discussed at the end of last week, raising eyebrows. “We agreed many months ago that when he was ready to have the conversation we’d have the conversation,” Evans said, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“When you shake hands and say you’ll keep the focus on the football, I’m alright with that. Every time we win a match it gives me a better chance of staying – or of another employer in future.”
“You don’t want to stay if you’re not wanted. You have to be wanted.”
The managers who finished United’s last two seasons, Neil Redfearn and Brian McDermott, left soon after amid almost complete silence from Cellino but Evans has said he does not expect to learn his fate third-hand.
Evans has an increasingly strong hand in negotiations as he is drawing interest from elsewhere, with Peterborough joining Nottingham Forest in being strongly linked with the Leeds manager.
“He (Cellino) is well aware that there’s interest,” Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Cellino’s decision to often go public with his frustration has sparked endless speculation that the Leeds owner is just biding his time before firing his manager.
In other Leeds news, Evans has admitted he has changed his mind about one Whites outcast.