Leicester appoint Steve Cooper as new manager on a three-year contract

<span>Steve Cooper’s principal task as Leicester’s new manager will be avoiding an immediate relegation back to the Championship.</span><span>Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA</span>
Steve Cooper’s principal task as Leicester’s new manager will be avoiding an immediate relegation back to the Championship.Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Steve Cooper has been appointed Leicester’s new manager on a three-year contract. The 44-year-old succeeds Enzo Maresca following his departure to Chelsea this month.

It is Cooper’s first job since being sacked by City’s East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest in December. Cooper led Forest to promotion back to the Premier League in 2022 and had to contend with plenty of off-field turbulence before leaving the City Ground with the club 17th in the top flight.

“I am really excited and proud to be appointed Leicester’s manager,” said Cooper. “This is a fantastic club with a rich history and passionate supporters. I am excited to work with such a talented squad and I’m looking forward to the challenge of achieving our shared ambitions in the Premier League.”

Leicester’s chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, said: “We are delighted to welcome Steve to Leicester. 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.”

Leicester were keen on appointing Graham Potter, who they previously targeted after sacking Brendan Rodgers, but moved to wrap up a deal for Cooper after Potter stalled on the move. They also considered Carlos Corberán, who is under contract at West Brom.

Cooper’s immediate objective will be to avoid relegation from the Premier League following Leicester’s return as Championship champions. The club face a points deduction for breaching profitability and sustainability regulations (PSR) for the three-year period ending 2022-23, a situation which has the makings of a challenging summer. Ideally, Leicester would generate sales before 30 June to help ease concerns about meeting financial rules.

Jamie Vardy, who turns 38 in January, and Jannik Vestergaard have signed new deals in recent weeks. Kelechi Iheanacho, Marc Albrighton and Dennis Praet left the club following the expiry of their contracts.