Sunday 25 August 2019

Leeds look to lure Bruce away from Villa

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce

Luke Edwards

Leeds United have taken advantage of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Aston Villa's financial predicament by moving to see whether manager Steve Bruce is interested in a switch to Elland Road.

Bruce is still in the dark about what is going to happen at Villa, with the club in serious financial trouble and teetering on the brink of administration.

That has alerted Leeds, who have approached the former Manchester United captain through intermediaries to discover whether he would like to speak to them about their managerial vacancy.

Leeds identified Argentinian manager Marcelo Biesla as their first-choice to replace Paul Heckingbottom earlier this week, but negotiations have been slow and there are growing reservations as to whether he is keen to manage in the Championship.

The interest in Bruce makes sense. No manager has won promotion to the Premier League more than the 57-year-old and although he had intended to stay at Villa Park after losing in the play-off final to Fulham last month, there is a growing possibility he will quit because of the financial mess his current employers have got themselves into.

As things stand, Bruce has not given an answer to Leeds, as he is still waiting to learn how bad things are at Villa, but he is aware things look grim for the Midlands club and could well be tempted by the challenge of trying to return another fallen English giant to the top flight.

Elsewhere, the Premier League will introduce a mid-season break in February from the 2019-20 season onward.

To make room for the two-week break, the FA Cup's fifth-round ties will be played midweek and will be settled on the night, while a round of Premier League fixtures will be played over two weekends, with five games one weekend and five the next. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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