Giuseppe Sannino
Sannino is the new bookmakers' favourite to make a swift return to management with Leeds.Getty Images/Justin Setterfield

Former Watford manager Giuseppe Sannino is the new favourite to succeed David Hockaday as Leeds United manager following the appointment of Oscar Garcia at Vicarage Road.

The 57-year-old resigned as manager of the Championship club on Monday after just 10 months in charge despite helping the club to five wins out of six during the early weeks of the season.

Ex-Brighton and Hove Albion boss Garcia – who was heavily linked with a move to Elland Road – was appointed as his replacement on Tuesday to leave Leeds running out of options before the resumption of their campaign against Birmingham City on 13 September.

Despite Steve Clarke – the former West Bromwich Albion coach – leading the betting to replace Hockaday, who was dismissed last week after losing four of his opening six matches in charge, Sannino has emerged as the new bookmakers' favourite for the position.

Sannino possesses a wealth of experience in the lower leagues of Italian football, having managed 12 different clubs in his homeland across his 17-year managerial career before moving to English football in December 2013.

An impressive start to the campaign with Watford, which sees the club occupy an early automatic promotion place one point behind leaders Nottingham Forest, might indeed lead to Leeds owner Massimo Cellino taking the plunge with Sannino – who he will be well aware of from his spell as Cagliari owner.

Cellino sacked 35 managers in 21 years at Cagliari and has already dismissed both Brian McDermott and Hockaday during his short time as owner of Leeds.

Neil Redfearn won his first game in temporary charge against Bolton Wanderers at the weekend and Cellino has given the coach hope in his attempts to take the job full time by claiming a "big name" is unlikely to be appointed.

"I want what is best for Leeds United and while I'm at the club I will always do my best," he said.

"I will also select a new head coach that I believe can help the club and the supporters must realise it may not be a 'big name'. It will be a coach who I believe is best placed to succeed at Leeds United."