MANCHESTER CITY have poached Newcastle’s highly-rated coaching analyst Mark Leyland.
It is a big blow to the high-flying Magpies, who only hired him from Liverpool 14 months ago.
Toon boss Eddie Howe credits Leyland with playing a huge part in the club’s transformation from relegation-battlers to Champions League chasers.
The pair worked together at Burnley and have developed a close and productive working relationship.
Howe, who will lead the Toon out in a Carabao Cup final against Manchester United on Sunday, will miss his trusted aide.
Last year he said: “Mark has had a big impact and played a huge part in what we’ve done this season.
“He’s one of a number of people behind the scenes that have put a tireless amount of work in to try and improve the team.
“We love him to bits and he’s been an integral part of our team.”
Leyland is due to leave Newcastle at the end of the season and his influential presence will be missed.
He has combined analytical duties with a coaching role and works with players on a daily basis.
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The Manchester giants have recruited him to an international position which will see him involved with all clubs who are part of the City Football Group, according to the Daily Mail.
Leyland began his career as a performance analyst at Everton before joining the Clarets.
He joined Liverpool in 2013 and became a key member of Jurgen Klopp’s successful support team.