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Once linked with Leeds United, Gianluca Festa becomes head coach of Massimo Cellino’s old club Cagliari

Former Leeds United managerial candidate and Middlesbrough defender Gianluca Festa is the new head coach of Italian club Cagliari.

Former Leeds United managerial candidate Gianluca Festa has been appointed as the head coach of Cagliari until the end of the season, according to the club’s official website.

The announcement was made this evening following the resignation of Zdenek Zeman as the Italian team’s boss earlier today.

The Czech tactician returned to Cagliari last month after being sacked at the end of December, but he failed to bring much to the team in terms of results.

Cagliari are currently second from bottom in the Serie A table with 21 points from 31 matches, seven points behind 17th-placed Atalanta.

The Leeds connection

Leeds fans will surely remember Festa, who was supposed to become the Whites head coach at the start of the 2014-15 season.

The 46-year-old former Middlesbrough defender was came to Leeds as an ‘observer’ back in January 2014, with The Mirror reporting in May of last year that he would be given the managerial role at Elland Road by club owner Massimo Cellino.

Festa also visited Leeds’s training ground in January, but eventually in the summer the Italian was not given the job, which went to Dave Hockaday instead.

Interestingly, Cagliari was previously owned by Cellino. It seems that the Italian has finally got his wish of seeing Festa become his team's coach, only that he is not in charge of it anymore.

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