Wednesday to finalise Pleat deal

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The Independent Online

Luton have reluctantly accepted that their manager, David Pleat, will leave Kenilworth Road to become manager of Sheffield Wednesday. The deal is likely to be completed today, with the only possible hitch in the deal being Luton's demand for compensation.

Pleat, aged 50, is in the middle of a two-year contract and the Luton chairman, David Kohler, said: "We are asking for a substantial sum, but I think it is a reasonable figure. If they don't pay, David will not be going and he has accepted that. But so far Sheffield Wednesday have done everything in the right way, even if in a sense they have incited him to break his contract here."

Luton collected a transfer fee of pounds 100,000 when Pleat, currently in his second spell at Kenilworth Road after also managing Leicester, left for Tottenham nine years ago.

Kohler said he had done everything possible to persuade Pleat to stay, including an offer to more than match the salary he will receive at Hillsborough.

However, he added: "It was not about money. Sheffield Wednesday can offer him Premiership football and we can't and he wants to have another go at that."

Pleat, who held discussions with the Wednesday chairman, Dave Richards, over the weekend, said: "I'm impressed with the set-up at Hillsborough, the support that Wednesday can generate and the way their image has been projected with regard to playing football."

One of Pleat's first moves at Hillsborough could be to offer the player- coach role to Chris Waddle, who was part of Pleat's Tottenham team.

Wednesday, meanwhile, also face a compensation battle with their former manager, Trevor Francis, who was sacked last month.