Steve Cooper holds talks over Premier League return

    Steve Cooper is emerging as a leading contender to become Leicester’s new manager, talkSPORT understands.

    Cooper has been out of work since being sacked by Nottingham Forest in December.


    Cooper was replaced by Nuno Espirito Santo at Forest last seasonCredit: Getty

    Leicester have held initial talks with the Welshman about replacing Enzo Maresca, who was recently announced as the new Chelsea manager.

    The Foxes are preparing for life in the Premier League after sealing an immediate return to the top-flight by winning the Championship title last season.

    West Brom’s Carlos Corberan was widely regarded as the leading contender for the vacant position, but his required compensation package could well be a stumbling block.

    Cooper’s potential appointment would prove a divisive one for Foxes fans, given his ties to Leicester’s east midlands rivals.


    Moreover, there will be question marks about how his style of play translates to a squad schooled in the art of possession under Maresca.

    Cooper was largely pragmatic during his tenure at Forest. In the early days after their promotion to the Premier League, his side looked to press high and aggressively, but he soon adapted tactics following a string of subpar results.

    It is this adaptability which will be of most interest to Leicester, who will no doubt have studied his time in charge at Swansea. In Wales, Cooper adopted a far more possession-based style.

    Midfielder Matty Grimes was probably the best example of this, dropping deep to play short, quick passes with the defence before looking to progress the ball — a very similar role to the one Maresca had Harry Winks play last season.

    Maresca recently left Leicester to become Chelsea's new manager


    Maresca recently left Leicester to become Chelsea’s new managerCredit: Getty

    This fluidity in Cooper’s management will surely appeal to Leicester’s hierarchy, who are acutely aware they won’t be able to dominate games in the same fashion they did in the Championship. 

    In addition, the club’s looming potential points deduction has made their search for a new manager all the more difficult.

    Former Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce admits he would be open to the vacant managerial job at Leicester City after Enzo Maresca’s departure to Chelsea

    Cooper’s experience, not only in the top flight but also in the Championship, may prove decisive as the club will have to prepare long-term for all eventualities. 

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