Uwe Rosler
Rosler's exit sees Leeds begin the search for their sixth manager in just 18 months Getty Images

Leeds United have confirmed the exit of manager Uwe Rosler after just 12 games in charge at Elland Road. Defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion left the club just three points above the Championship relegation zone and sees Rosler become the fifth boss removed by owner Massimo Cellino since his takeover of the West Yorkshire club.

A statement released via the club's Twitter account read: "#lufc can confirm that Uwe Rosler has parted company with the club. A full statement will be released later today."

Former Rotherham United and Crawley Town boss Steve Evans has taken training at the club's Thorp Arch base on 19 October, according to The Guardian, and is the leading contender to replace Rosler. Evans has won seven promotions during his 21-year managerial career and is currently unattached after leaving Rotherham in September.

The move sees Leeds begin the search for a sixth manager during the controversial ownership of Cellino, who took control of Leeds United in April 2014. Brian McDermott, Dave Hockaday, Neil Redfearn and Darko Milanic have all been ousted by Cellino over the past 18 months.

Speaking after the 2-1 defeat to Brighton, Rosler said: "We can't feel sorry for ourselves. There are a lot of people far worse off than us, so we have to pick ourselves up and go again. I feel a bit sorry for the players, supporters and owner. When you invest as much as the players do in training and get so little back, it's disappointing."

Leeds' Italian owner had targeted promotion in his second full season at Leeds, but just seven players arrived during the summer transfer window and led to the club failing to win any of their first five matches. The loss to Brighton was the third in a row and leaves them already nine points adrift of the play-off places.

Cellino, who was banned from influencing football activities at the club for the final five months of the 2014-15 campaign, has a chequered reputation in English football having initially taken over the club only to then fail the Football League's owners' and directors' test. The 59-year-old was found to have breached league rules when found guilty of evading import duty on a yacht. Last week, Cellino pledged to reduce Leeds' away ticket allocation to 2,000 after having numerous matches rescheduled by television companies.