Leeds United confirm appointment of Christiansen

Middlesbrough's Daniel Ayala celebrates their second goal

Middlesbrough's Daniel Ayala celebrates their second goal

UNITED have named former Barcelona striker Thomas Christiansen as their new manager.

A former Spain worldwide, Christiansen will replace Garry Monk, who left Elland Road after a season-long spell to join Middlesbrough last week.

APOEL chose not to renew Christiansen's 12-month contract despite him taking the Cypriot club into the Europa League's knockout stages and winning Cyprus' first division title.

The naming of Christiansen, who will be unveiled at a press conference on Monday, ends Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani's three-week search for a new head coach.

The 44-year-old was not among the names being touted as potential successors to Garry Monk, so the news has come somewhat as a surprise.

But, he's now opted to make his debut in English football with Championship side Leeds, who were left managerless a few weeks ago following the surprise departure of Monk.

Christiansen was not featured on the long list of candidates linked with the Elland Road job, with the likes of Jaap Stam, Aitor Karanka, Fernando Hierro, Alan Pardew and Victor Sanchez featuring among the bookmakers' favourites.

Christiansen enjoyed a lengthy playing career which started at Barcelona and took in, among others, Real Oviedo, Villareal and Hannover 96.

Only time will tell whether Radrizzani has made the right call, but with a title win and Europa League experience under his belt, Christiansen could be a smart - if unexpected - choice for the job at Elland Road.

"We are confident we have found a man who can work with us to take the club to the next level".

Prior to that, he was at the helm at AEK Larnaca and also had a stint as assistant of Abu Dhabi-based Al Jazira.

Leeds United managing director Angus Kinnear.

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