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Will ex-Middlesbrough Italian be new Leeds boss?

Leeds United have sacked Brian McDermott and potential new owner Massimo Cellino has reportedly already lined up his replacement.

The unrest at Leeds United has intensified with the news that manager Brian McDermott has been sacked this evening.

The 52-year-old replaced Neil Warnock in April 2013 and Leeds won 15 of their 36 matches under his guidance.

But a recent slump has seen Leeds go eight games without a win and slip off the play-off pace in the Championship.

However, McDermott's dismissal may have just as much to do with events off the pitch as on the pitch as Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino is closing in on buying the club.

Cellino is trying to agree a deal with GFH Capital which would see him become the majority owner and allow him to exert the kind of influence he has had at Cagliari.

At Cagliari, Cellino is known for sacking managers and has axed 36 coaches during his 20 years in charge.

McDermott may already be his first casualty and there are reports in the Italian media that Cellino wants to give the role to Gianluca Festa.

Former defender Festa, who is also from Cagliari, played in England for Middlesbrough and Portsmouth but is in his infancy as a coach.

The 44-year-old has been a youth coach and an assistant coach at Cagliari and has been in charge of third tier side Lumezzane.

image: © Paul Dantanus

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