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Steve Cooper agrees to become new Leicester City head coach

Steve Cooper has reached an agreement to be the new Leicester head coach; Cooper, 44, has been out of work since being sacked by Nottingham Forest last December; former Brighton and Chelsea boss Graham Potter was also on the Foxes' managerial shortlist

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Sky Sports' James Savundra reports on Steve Cooper's potential appointment as Leicester City's new head coach. Cooper has competition from Graham Potter but the former Forest boss is in the 'final stages' of making a move to the Foxes.

Leicester City have reached an agreement with Steve Cooper to become the club's new head coach.

Leicester carried out a thorough process of due diligence and spoke to a number of potential candidates.

Former Brighton and Chelsea boss Graham Potter was one of those and was seriously considered for the position at the King Power, but there were a number of issues on either side which meant that talks could not progress.

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper during the Premier League match at Craven Cottage, London. Picture date: Wednesday December 6, 2023.
Image: Cooper was sacked by Nottingham Forest last December

Cooper, 44, became the Foxes' clear preferred candidate and is categorically not their second choice to take over from Enzo Maresca, who guided the club back to promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking last season, before recently taking over at Chelsea.

Potter, meanwhile, remains keen to get back into management and it is likely he will be considered for the England manager's job - along with a host of other names - if Gareth Southgate decides to leave after the Euros.

Cooper has been out of work since being sacked by Nottingham Forest last December, who he was in charge of for just over two years. The club were in 17th place in the table after a run of just one win in 13 matches when he left the City Ground.

Leicester's opening six Premier League fixtures

  • Aug 19: Tottenham (h) - live on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football - kick-off 8pm
  • Aug 24: Fulham (a)
  • Aug 31: Aston Villa (h)
  • Sept 14: Crystal Palace (a)
  • Sept 21: Everton (h)
  • Sept 28: Arsenal (a)

The Welshman has previously been in charge of the England U16 and U17 international sides, winning the World Cup with the latter in 2017, before managing Championship side Swansea City from 2019-2021.

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Heskey: New manager's aim must be to stay in the Premier League

Leicester City legend Emile Heskey says the aim for the next manager is simply to try and stay in the Premier League amid a limited capacity to sign new players.

Speaking at the launch of Husqvarna's Victory Dance campaign, he insisted the best way to achieve that would be to continue the style of football implemented by Maresca.

Heskey told Sky Sports: "Leicester have gone down the route of having someone in Maresca, who revolutionised the way that we think as a club in the sense of the way that we play.

"It would be crazy to change everything around. Even when you look at U21s, they have started to implement a lot of the fundamentals that Maresca had.

"You would like to think the next manager would take that on and keep it going and play a lot of the younger lads, because the reality is I'm not sure how much we can spend to really get that squad up to par with what is needed to stay in the league.

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Christian Fuchs believes Leicester will need to 'act fast' in replacing Enzo Maresca, as the Foxes face new challenges with the threat of starting the season with a points deduction.

"We ran through the Championship pretty much easily with a bit of a blip. If we can keep Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, that would be outstanding and unbelievable, because he's really the main player.

"The aim has to be to stay in the Premier League. We have to reset and work again. Staying in the league is key and then you build from there, especially if you're not able to spend the money you need to spend to get the squad up to par.

"The reality is that squad is pretty similar to the squad that came down. Yes, in the forward line Jamie Vardy has signed again, but who else have we got? That is a key position that needs to be rectified.

"I would say defensively, the centre-back position would be important as well and then possibly a midfielder."

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