By Alex Stevens
Garry Monk is confident of securing his first Leeds signing within days – the club’s new assistant manager Pep Clotet.
The new Leeds manager is keen to strengthen the team in the forthcoming transfer window as he prepares for next season.
But his first priority after being unveiled as the club’s new manager on Thursday afternoon is to put in place his coaching staff.
Clotet, 39, was Monk’s assistant manager at Swansea for two years between 2013 and 2015 and left the club along with Monk when the former centre-back was sacked last December.
Leeds’ new boss admitted Barcelona-born Clotet would be crucial to his future success in the Elland Road job.
“Pep is definitely one of them and hopefully that will come or be finalised over the next few days,” said Monk, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post. “I have had an incredible relationship with him.
“He is an excellent coach, a top calibre coach who brings a lot to the table and will help obviously in the way that I work. He helps myself and will help all the players and all the staff and everyone at the club so he is definitely one of most importance.”
Monk and Clotet helped Swansea to their best-ever Premier League finish of eighth in 2014-15, a feat achieved with a records points tally.
Monk, whose only managerial job to date has been a 20-month spell in charge of Swansea that ended when he was sacked last December, was appointed less than 48 hours after Steve Evans was sacked.
The 37-year-old revealed on Thursday that he had had a number of conversations with Cellino before the terms of the deal were agreed.
Like Evans, Monk has also been handed a short-term rolling contract, prompting further discussion about Cellino’s lack of long-term planning.
Leeds fans reacted positively to news that their club had secured an emerging manager with a creditable Premier League record, but this was mixed with scepticism about Cellino’s hire-and-fire policy.