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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Steve Cooper wins race to become new Leicester manager

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Football

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Leicester City have appointed Steve Cooper as their new manager on a three-year deal.

Cooper, 44, had been out of work since leaving Nottingham Forest in December but has succeeded Enzo Maresca at the King Power Stadium on a contract that runs until 2027.

Maresca left the Foxes after delivering promotion to the Premier League to take over at Chelsea following Mauricio Pochettino’s departure at the end of the season.

Cooper has been biding his time to get back into work following an emotional exit from the City Ground, where he guided Forest back into the top flight for the first time in 23 years and then kept them there.

“I am very proud to be joining a club with a rich history,” he wrote in an open letter to Leicester’s fans. “I congratulate the players and staff on the achievements of their promotion to the Premier League. I know how hard that is.

“Any person who loves football can only look with great respect upon how much this club has achieved in recent years.

“The Premier League title of 2016 and the FA Cup of 2021 have demonstrated what’s possible for a united club. As the new manager, I don’t take that legacy lightly.

“My job will be to build on those achievements and to bring everyone along – players, staff and fans. Great challenges lie ahead but I get the feeling that Leicester thrives in these moments. I know we will be ready.”

Steve Cooper will take over at Leicester

Steve Cooper will take over at Leicester (PA Archive)

The Leicester job will not be without its challenges as the Foxes have a possible points deduction hanging over them and may also need to sell players to comply with the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.

Cooper’s reign will begin with a home game against Tottenham, who were also the opponents for his final game in charge of Forest. He will return to the City Ground in May.

Former Chelsea and Brighton boss Graham Potter and West Brom’s Carlos Corberan were also understood to have been considered for the role, but Cooper won the race.

Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “We are delighted to welcome Steve to Leicester City. His vision for the team, including his ability to develop players and implement a dynamic style of play, is very much aligned with our aspirations for the club.

“As a leader, he has the ability to build on the strong relationship that has been forged between our fans and our team, strengthening a bond that will be vital to us re-establishing the club in the Premier League.”

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