By George Overhill

31st May, 2023 | 8:10am

49ers and Angus Kinnear work on Leeds United appointment of Dimitri de Conde

Angus Kinnear is working with prospective new Leeds United owners 49ers Enterprises on appointing the next sporting director despite the ownership situation remaining unresolved, Sky Sports reports.

The post is empty at Elland Road following the departure of Victor Orta as Javi Gracia was sacked, and the two names that are priorities are Dimitri de Conde and Kieran Scott.

Although Norwich City man, and Whites fan, Stuart Webber has also been linked [The Athletic, 20 May], it is reportedly his Genk and Middlesbrough counterparts who are being targeted, with the club under time pressure to get their house in order with rivals already preparing to make moves.

While talks rumble on over a revised sale agreement between Andrea Radrizzani and 49ers Enterprises work is underway around him to get one of the key roles filled at Elland Road.

According to Sky Sports: “The 49ers and Kinnear are understood to have been working on sporting director candidates already and high on their list are the likes of Middlesbrough’s Kieran Scott and Genk’s Dimitri de Conde.

“The club want to act quickly to secure their new hierarchy in order to advance with plans for next season, including pre-season training and squad turnover in the transfer market – and they will need to do so with fellow high-profile, relegated clubs Leicester and Southampton already embarking on their plans for next term.”

Marriage of convenience

It says something about the dysfunction at Leeds United currently that the incumbent CEO is working with the minority shareholders over the future of the club before they have taken over, apparently aside from the current owner and majority shareholder.

Radrizzani is still apparently deciding if he will follow through with a deal to sell, amid his current plans to take over at Sampdoria.

But the picture certainly suggests that he is essentially ready to depart and it is the major dip in the value of the club after relegation that seems to be the sticking point above all.

Given the way the club has lurched from one crisis to another this season, in the transfer market, in managerial succession plans, and now with relegation itself, a quick handover from the current regime to the new owners would be what plenty of fans want.

But in light of the fact that both sides of the sale have managed to let it drag on this far without a resolution it is perhaps the least bad option to have Kinnear and representatives from San Francisco working on future planning.

It is better that than nothing happening at all while their upcoming rivals for promotion get everything set ahead of time.

Although what it will mean for the quality of the choices that are ultimately made will only become clear in practice, but for a club that went through four first-team managers this season, dispensed with Orta, and made bizarre appointments such as Chris Armas, confidence will be on the floor for the decision-making process.

A confused ownership structure with long-term futures of key figures up in the air hasn’t proven to be a recipe for success this season, so it doesn’t really inspire confidence that those involved are muddling through under similar circumstances now.

In other Leeds United news, a Brendan Rodgers update has emerged after he was named as the 49ers priority candidate at manager.