Massimo Cellino: 'I want Brian McDermott back'

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott barks orders from the touchline on September 18, 2013
© Getty Images
Prospective Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino insists that Brian McDermott is the man he wants to manage the first team.

Leeds United's potential new owner Massimo Cellino has revealed that he is trying to persuade Brian McDermott to retake his position as manager.

Reports emerged on Friday that the Whites had sacked McDermott following an eight-match winless run, but Leeds have insisted that McDermott officially remains in charge.

The 52-year-old's assistant Nigel Gibbs oversaw the 5-1 victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday, but Cellino insists that the former Reading boss is the man he would want at the helm if his prospective takeover is successful, dismissing speculation that Gianluca Festa could be installed as United manager.

"I want the coach back and have been trying to call him," Cellino told The Telegraph. "I don't mind this coach.

"How can I sack anyone anyway? I need the approval of the Football League before I own the club. GFH are still running Leeds United. They did not want Brian as manager but didn't have the courage to sack him."

Cellino added: "Festa has never run a club before. I have never had him coach a team before, so why would I want him to coach a major club like Leeds?"

Gibbs has admitted that he does not know what McDermott's Elland Road future holds.

Brian McDermott. manager of Leeds United looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United at Hillsborough Stadium on January 11, 2014
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