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Leeds sack Javi Gracia and appoint Sam Allardyce as new Whites boss

Sam Allardyce has been appointed Leeds United head coach on a short-term contract following the sacking of Javi Gracia – who lasted just two-and-a-half months at the West Yorkshire club.

It is the first job that the former England manager has taken since leaving West Brom in May 2021 after failing to keep them in England’s top-flight.

Allardyce takes the reins at Elland Road with just four Premier League games still to play, with the Whites finding themselves positioned precariously just above the relegation zone.

These four games represent a particularly difficult end to the season for Allardyce’s new side however – with his first match in charge away at Manchester City this Saturday.

This fixture is followed by a home game with Newcastle, an away trip to West Ham and then a final day clash with Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road.

The 68-year-old becomes Leeds’ fourth head coach of the season, following Jesse Marsch, interim Michael Skubala, and Gracia.

Allardyce’s predecessor Gracia lasted just 12 games in charge, and the Spaniard’s coaching staff Zigor Aranalde, Mikel Antia and Juan Solla all depart the club with him.

A statement, released by the club, reads:

“Allardyce has managed over 500 Premier League games in a managerial career stretching 29 years and he brings a wealth of knowledge in fighting for survival, having guided a number of his previous clubs to safety.

“Allardyce will be assisted by former MK Dons, Charlton Athletic and Oxford United manager Karl Robinson.”

The development comes after director of football Victor Orta left Leeds yesterday by “mutual consent”.

Allardyce will undoubtedly be targeting the fixtures following the Manchester City game as ones he can secure vital points from as the Whites attempt to escape relegation for the second season in a row.

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