Milanic is currently the manager of Strurm Graz.

Massimo Cellino has earmarked Slovenian Darko Milanic as his main candidate to become the next Leeds United manager, according to reports.

The Leeds owner sacked David Hockaday in August after losing four of his opening six matches in charge and has since been searching for a new boss.

Academy coach Neil Redfearn is temporarily in charge but despite having secured seven points from three games since replacing Hockaday, he is said to be out of the race to take the position long-term.

Cellino indeed recently claimed he will chose a foreign manager while suggesting Redfearn will go back to the academy.

"I'm thinking about a foreign coach, an international coach who I can work with. We need to meet and talk but I think he could be good for us. It needs to be the right man, but I want Neil (Redfearn) to be involved with the first team in some way. He knows the young players, the players like him and they respect him. I respect him."

So far a number of managers have been linked to the vacant post in recent days after Cellino's first choice Oscar Garcia opted to joined Watford instead.

Steve Clarke, Carlos Queiroz, former Manchester United coach, Carlos Queiroz, and ex-Leeds duo, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Robbie Fowler, were said to be among the contenders while earlier this week Argentinian boss Alejandro Sabella emerged as a candidate after admitting he was intrigued by the possibility.

"The Leeds situation is intriguing, and I feel I have unfinished business with that club," he said, having spent one year playing for Leeds from 1980-1981.

However, according to The Sun, Milanic, the current manager of Austrian side - Sturm Graz - is now in line to take charge as head coach at Elland Road.

Cellino reportedly has already approached the 46-year-old manager even though the club denied the rumours.

"There's been no contact between Sturm Graz and Leeds United," the club said.

Meanwhile, Redfearn, after securing a 3-1 victory at Bournemouth on Tuesday, admits the new manager may be in charge for the next game against Huddersfield on Saturday.

"I know Massimo has got a coach in mind, and people in mind, but I will leave that process to him. I've enjoyed being in charge. I think the lads have responded well. We're in a far better position now. The supporters have suffered for a while, but this might be the start of something," he said.