Leeds manager hunt moves to Madrid as Radrizzani urges patience | Leeds United
A delegation from Leeds traveled to Madrid to woo Rayo Vallecano head coach Androni Iraola, but the Premier League club’s hopes of introducing a new manager to the Elland Road crowd when Manchester United visit in West Yorkshire on Sunday remain pending.
Relegation-threatened Leeds moved quickly to secure a successor after Jesse Marsch was sacked on Monday, but a key name on their initial four-man roster was dropped on Tuesday night when West Bromwhich Albion head coach Carlos Corberán , signed a new contract with the Hawthorns. .
By then Leeds were already exploring the possibility of extracting 40-year-old Iraolo from Rayo Vallecano and Victor Orta, the director of football, duly led a delegation to the Spanish capital for talks.
Rayo Vallecano, however, would demand heavy compensation for a much-loved manager who propelled them to fifth in La Liga and whose tactical philosophy centers on the pressing play Marcelo Bielsea introduced to Elland Road.
Other options include Celtic manager Ange Postecoglu and Bodo/Glimit’s Kjetil Knutsen. Although Feyenoord’s Arne Slot has been heavily linked with the vacancy, it is understood he was not on Leeds’ initial shortlist.
Leeds are believed to be targeting active managers but it’s not inconceivable that, should they meet behind closed doors in Madrid, the directors could turn to immediately available Rafael Benítez or Ralph Hassenhuttl. Although Orta is an admirer of Mauricio Pochettino, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham manager is unlikely to dislike getting involved in a relegation skirmish.
Ahead of Wednesday night’s game against Manchester United at Old Trafford – the teams’ first of two Premier League meetings in five days – Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has asked fans to be patient as the hunt for a new manager unfolded.
A day earlier, the Italian had tweeted: “We are on it. Hopefully there will be some white smoke by tonight or (tomorrow) morning. Yet yesterday/Wednesday morning Radrizzani was more circumspect, posting, “Not yet……need more time.”
Leeds Under-21 manager Michael Skubala will temporarily take charge of Wednesday night’s game as his side bid for their first league victory since November 5. Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest left them 17th, above the bottom three on goal difference, and Marsch was sacked after 11 months out after winning just four of 20 league games this season.