Leeds' reported top managerial target appears to rule himself out

Leeds United East Stand

Darko Milanic says that he is 100% focused on Sturm Graz following reports that Leeds United were lining him up as their top target.

Darko Milanic says that he is 100% focused on Sturm Graz, amid rumours that he could be the first choice to takeover at Leeds United.

Reports have emerged that Milanic could be set to land the permanent managerial role at Elland Road, but the Sturm Graz boss says that no contact has been made and even if there was he remains committed to his current club. 

“In football there are always rumors,” Milanic explained to Sturm Graz’s official website.

“But to me there is no offer from another club. I’m focused 100 per cent on the job at SK Sturm.”

The Austrian club have been surprised by the news that Leeds would want their manager after their poor start to the season.

Milanic is the highest paid manager in the Austrian top-flight, but he has done little to earn his sizeable salary at the start of the campaign considering Sturm Graz are languishing in mid-table. 

Massimo Cellino is understood to be looking for an experienced foreign manager to take charge at the Yorkshire side and that is where the interest stems from.

The 46-year-old has already managed four clubs across Europe during his time as a manager, but he would be a gamble considering he has never controlled an English club before.

Leeds harbour ambitions of promotion this season, after bringing in 15 new players this summer, and the new boss would be under pressure to perform considering Massimo Cellino's famed reactionary approach.

His job would be made even tougher considering the club's form under caretaker boss Neil Redfearn.

The temporary manager has guided the Whites to seven points from his three games in charge and there is now a clamour for him to take the role on a permanent basis. 

It is unlikely he will be granted that opportunity, but he certainly leaves the side in a stronger position than they were in under former head-coach David Hockaday. 

Leeds take on Huddersfield Town on Saturday and they will hope to have a new man in charge by then, but there is no guarantees given Milanic's most recent rejection. 

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