Soccer-Leeds deny McDermott axe as new owners set to move in


(Adds McDermott statement)

Feb 1 (Reuters) - English Championship team Leeds United, who are poised to get new owners, have denied media reports that Brian McDermott has been sacked as manager.

GFH Capital, the existing owners at Elland Road, said earlier on Saturday that they are set to sell a majority stake in the club to the family that run Serie A side Cagliari.

Then, following a 5-1 home league win over Huddersfield Town, Leeds announced McDermott was still the manager despite widespread reports on Friday that he had been fired.

"The club would like to make it clear Brian McDermott remains our manager," Leeds said in a statement.

"He has not been dismissed from his post as has been suggested and we look forward to him continuing in his role."

Earlier, GFH Capital said in a statement it had agreed to sell a 75 percent stake to Eleonora Sport Limited which is owned by the Cellino family.

The Cellinos bought Cagliari in 1992 and plan to invest "substantially" in Leeds once the deal is approved by the Football League.

Leeds, English champions in 1992, have failed to regain their top-flight status following relegation from the Premier League in 2004.

The club were European Cup runners-up in 1975 and played in a Champions League semi-final as recently as 2001.

"They (the Cellino family) come to English football with an ambition to support Leeds United financially to take it to the Premier League," the statement read. (Reporting by Sam Holden; editing by Tony Jimenez)

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