Report: This is why Robinson snubbed Leeds and altered Cellino manager pursuit
By Alex Stevens
Karl Robinson snubbed Leeds because of concerns about working for Massimo Cellino, according to a report.
The MK Dons manager met the Elland Road owner in London for talks last week and was hotly tipped at the start of this week to be installed as the successor to Steve Evans.
But Robinson has rejected the possibility of working for the Championship’s best supported club.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim the long-serving MK Dons boss had “doubts” about the controversial Cellino, who is set to sack his sixth manager in just two years.
Cellino has been forced to turn his attention to Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke and, as reported by Football Insider, Leeds are locked in talks to agree a compensation package for their new No1 target.
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Rovers revealed on Tuesday morning they have turned down an approach from Leeds for Clarke and that they have offered their 38-year-old manager a new three-year deal.
But Leeds are continuing to push for talks with Clarke and are expected to bring him to the negotiating table by meeting the demands of the newly-promoted League One side.
Compensation for the Rovers manager is reportedly expected to be in the region of £250,000 and the two clubs have been haggling over the structure of staggered payments which United will commit to if Clarke agrees to replace Evans as manager.
Rovers have attempted to fend Leeds off by offering Clarke, the boss who has led them to promotion from the National League and League Two in the past two seasons, an improved three-year deal at the Memorial Stadium.
Cellino is abroad in Italy and said on Tuesday that he had been in touch with at least one alternative candidate.
“I’ve not decided about the manager,” said the Leeds owner and chairman, as quoted by the Mirror. “I’m in Italy now meeting another before I decide.”
Nevertheless, Clarke has been installed as the heavy odds-on favourite to be the new Leeds manager.
Meanwhile, Evans is set to be given his marching orders even though officially he remains the manager, as his contract runs until the end of June.
The Scot has been left hanging by a thread since Leeds’ season ended over two weeks ago but the owner’s comments make it clear he will be sacked.