BREAKING NEWS: Javi Gracia WILL be in the dugout for Leeds’ game against Southampton as former Watford boss is granted a work permit for Elland Road clash
- Javi Gracia will be in the dugout for Leeds’ huge game against Southampton
- The former Watford boss was awaiting a work permit after landing the job
- But he will be in the dugout for the relegation battle with the Saints
Javi Gracia will be in the Leeds dugout against Southampton on Saturday after being granted a work permit.
The Spaniard was announced as the new Whites head coach on Tuesday but had been unable to take training this week as he awaited his visa.
It was unclear whether Gracia would be cleared in time to take charge of his first match this weekend.
But Leeds announced on Friday that the 52-year-old’s visa has been confirmed and he is now free to start his job.
Leeds turned to the Spaniard, who has been out work since leaving Al Saad in Qatar last June, in the wake of last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Everton, which left them second bottom of the table.
Javi Gracia will be in the dugout for Leeds’ relegation battle against Southampton on Saturday
The former Watford boss has been granted a work permit so will oversee the big match
The 52-year-old presented to the club’s board on Monday and impressed with his level of detail, including a review of Leeds’ recent games and Southampton’s win at Chelsea last Saturday.
Gracia is expected to bring in backroom staff from his homeland, while Under-21s coach Michael Skubala will remain with the first-team having taken caretaker charge of Leeds’ last three games.
Gracia’s appointment brings to an end a painstaking search for a replacement for Jesse Marsch, who was sacked two weeks ago.
Leeds spoke to Rayo Vallecano boss Andoni Iraola and Feyenoord manager Arne Slot, but were unable to prise them away from their clubs. They then met with former Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder but he fell out of contention after a negative reaction from fans.
Skubala was subsequently told last week he would be at the helm for the Whites’ ‘upcoming fixtures’, including the visit of the Saints.
Club chiefs were even willing to leave the former England futsal boss in the job until the end of the season having been impressed with the two performances against Manchester United – a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford and a late 2-0 defeat at home.
Leeds are struggling at the bottom of the Premier League and could be relegated
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