(Reuters) - Leeds United have appointed Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom as their new manger until the end of 2018-19 season, the English Championship club said on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old will replace Thomas Christiansen, who was sacked on Sunday after an eight-month spell at Elland Road.
During his time at Oakwell, Heckingbottom led Barnsley to the Football League Trophy in 2016 before guiding them to the second-tier Championship through the League One playoffs.
Last season, he steered the team to a 14th-placed finish and in total, oversaw more than 100 matches at Barnsley.
In a statement, Barnsley said they were “shocked” by Heckingbottom’s desire to leave, having signed a new contract with the club last week.
“Yes, it was unexpected. Yes, it has come during an already complicated period,” Barnsley’s chief executive Gauthier Ganaye said.
“It will make things more difficult short term, but our club is full of resources and it is certainly not dependent on one man alone.”
Heckingbottom will begin his Leeds tenure with Saturday’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United in the league at Bramall Lane.
Leeds, three-times English champions, lie 10th in the second-tier standings and have not recorded a league win since Dec. 26.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge