Ex-Hartlepool midfielder wanted by Leeds United for manager's job

Darrell Clarke (right) is a wanted man
Darrell Clarke (right) is a wanted man

Leeds have made a formal approach to Bristol Rovers to speak with their manager Darrell Clarke, Press Association Sport understands.

Current Leeds boss Steve Evans is still waiting to hear if he will be handed a new contract after steering the club to 13th-placed finish in the Sky Bet Championship, but it appears owner Massimo Cellino is already looking for the Scot's replacement.

Press Association Sport reported on Monday that Clarke was on Leeds' radar, but whether the 38-year-old would want to leave the club he has steered to back-to-back promotions to work under the controversial Italian is another matter.

Cellino has already met with MK Dons boss Karl Robinson, who is understood to have turned down the offer, while Oldham's John Sheridan had been favourite to succeed Evans last week.

Evans was of the belief that keeping Leeds in the Championship would earn him an extended deal with his current contract set to expire in June, but has yet to receive any official word from Cellino.

Clarke, who began his managerial career at Salisbury City, has secured four promotions in five seasons, guiding Rovers from the Conference to League One in the last two.

Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post on Monday that he was "hurting" at the lack of contact from the Leeds hierarchy but intended to return to work on Wednesday after an end-of-season break.

His situation is nothing new for Leeds managers under Cellino.

The last two summers have seen Brian McDermott and Neil Redfearn put in almost identical positions and then leave after limited contact from the owner.

Such issues have contributed to large sections of the Leeds support turning on Cellino, who said a fortnight ago he wants to sell the club.

The 59-year-old has courted controversy throughout his two-year reign and is currently considering how to respond to a Football Association charge of allegedly breaking its agent regulations over the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham in 2014.