Leeds United announce Javi Gracia as new manager two weeks after departure of Jesse Marsch

Javi Gracia is expected to take charge at the Whites game against Southampton at Elland Road on Saturday. Credit: Leeds United

Leeds United have announced a new manager to replace Jesse Marsch, who was sacked just over two weeks ago.

A club statement said they have agreed terms with Javi Gracia to become men’s first team head coach, subject to obtaining a work permit.

The 52-year-old Spaniard most recently managed Qatari side Al Sadd, leading them to the Qatar Stars League title, and has agreed a "flexible contract" at Elland Road.

Gracia is no stranger to the Premier League, having been in charge at Watford during their successful run to the FA Cup final in 2019 after keeping them in the top flight the season before having replaced Marco Silva.

During his playing career Gracia appeared for Spanish sides Valladolid, Real Sociedad, Villareal and Cordoba, with his managerial career taking him to Osasuna, Malaga and Valencia as well.

He joins the Whites at a difficult time, with the club sitting only a point off the bottom of the table and winless run in the league stretching back to 5 November when they beat Bournemouth 4-3.

Leeds parted ways with Jesse Marsch on 6 February following a year under his leadership.

The club says it hopes Gracia’s first game in charge of the Whites will be Saturday’s Premier League home game against Southampton on Saturday (25 February).

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