According to reports, Benito Carbone will replace Brian McDermott as the manager of Leeds United, possibly before the end of the season.
In what began as another campaign of promise for the long-suffering Elland Road faithful, it has transpired into one of the most worrying in recent times. Any chances of claiming a Championship playoff space have vanished as they plummet towards the wrong end of the division, their only saving grace that they have enough points to secure safety.
Their cause was severely hindered by the prolonged ownership issue of the club, which was only resolved earlier this month when Massimo Cellino successful won his appeal against the Football League who had initially blocked his purchase from previous owners Gulf Finance House. The Italian had wanted to dismiss McDermott in January, but it was thought he had since made peace and shown support for the former Reading boss.
However, the Daily Mail now claim Cellino has lost all patience in the 53-year-old, and will sack him following the trip to Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon. It is being reported that the Leeds owner has already turned to Carbone, who has supposedly already held discussions with his compatriot at the club’s training ground in Wetherby.
The 42-year-old is already well versed to life in England, having represented Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Bradford City, Derby County and Middlesbrough during his playing days. He is currently in charge of St Christophe in the fourth tier of Italian football and has also had coaching spells and Pavia and Varese, but he is a frequent visitor to this country where he is keen to return and forge a successful management career.
“If I was offered a Premier League job tomorrow, I would not be afraid,” Carbone told the Daily Mail earlier this year. “I would be ready for it. I have already managed in Italy’s lower divisions, and I recently turned down two offers from second-tier clubs there and one from the third. This is where my future is, in England. It is the place to be.”
It now appears as Carbone’s chance to coach in England may come sooner than perhaps he expected, and despite their struggles over the past decade, the Leeds job remains one of the biggest in the country. As for McDermott, there is little doubt he will feel he has been dealt with unfairly, but in reality, the writing has been on the wall for some time.