Cooper now the leading contender for Leicester job


Steve Cooper is now the leading contender to become Leicester's new manager.

The 44-year-old has been out of work since being sacked by Nottingham Forest in December but has held further talks with their East Midlands rivals.

Former Chelsea and Brighton manager Graham Potter and West Brom boss Carlos Corberan have also been considered by the Foxes.

At the start of the week Potter appeared to be the frontrunner in a fluid situation, but Cooper is now seen as the prime candidate.

Leicester had previously tried to tempt Potter to the King Power Stadium last April before their relegation from the Premier League, but he was not ready to return to management just days after being sacked by Chelsea having spent less than seven months in charge.

The Foxes won the Championship last season and will face Tottenham in their opening match of next season after the release of the Premier League fixtures.

Maresca had been unhappy with problems he had spoken about but not detailed during the campaign, but any issues had been resolved following post-season talks and the club were looking forward to planning with the former Manchester City coach.

His departure did at least earn the club around £10m in compensation which will help with complying with profit and sustainability.

Leicester face the possibility of starting the season with a points deduction. The club were charged with breaching profit and sustainability rules in March and could face another punishment if they are not compliant by 30 June which may see them forced to sell players.

Cooper guided England Under-17s to victory at their World Cup in 2017 and also spent two years at Swansea, taking them to the play-off final in 2021 where they lost to Brentford.

He won the Championship play-offs with Forest a year later, ending the club's 23-year exile from the top flight, having taken over when the club were bottom in September 2021.

Under him, Forest finished 16th in the Premier League in 2022-23 but he left the City Ground just before Christmas in the 2023-24 campaign with the club 17th in the table.