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.