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Leeds United managerial target “wanted to explore job” at Elland Road

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Rayo Vallecano‘s Andoni Iraola is actively wanting to take over the Leeds United managerial hotseat, despite his club currently blocking the move.

That’s according to Phil Hay of The Athletic, who refused to rule out a move for the Spaniard to Elland Road.

Various sources including Fabrizio Romano and Sky Sports, have outlined Leeds’ managerial search has placed Iraola as the priority target of the club’s hierarchy to replace Jesse Marsch.

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Sky Sports News reporter Tim Thornton added further detail that Iraola would be “open to the move” and that the Premier League is appealing to the 40-year-old, despite his current club refusing the move presently.

Will Leeds appoint Iraola?

VALLADOLID, SPAIN – JANUARY 14: Andoni Iraola, Head Coach of Rayo Vallecano, reacts during the LaLiga Santander match between Real Valladolid CF and Rayo Vallecano at Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla on January 14, 2023 in Valladolid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Phil Hay has added further fuel to the claim from Thornton, he said: “Leeds believed Iraola wanted the job and nothing in their discussions about him persuaded them otherwise.”

Iraola wants to take the move to Elland Road but under the right circumstances, as he does not wish to disrespect his current side, whom he has built a good relationship with, Hay added: “Iraola has tried to be respectful to Rayo Vallecano and their president, Martin Presa, but he told his club that Leeds was an opportunity he wanted to explore and, if a final offer was there, an opportunity he was tempted to take.”

The deadlock continues between the sides, despite Leeds All Over sources revealing to us that Victor Orta is believed to have flown out to Spain for further talks over the weekend, Hay continued: “Rayo Vallecano stood firm over his release, though, and refused to let him go. Orta was unable to clear the impasse and those talks have been deadlocked for days.”

Who else is on Leeds’ managerial shortlist?

A handful of names have been linked so far, with The Times naming Iraola (Rayo Vallecano), Arne Slot (Feyenoord), and Marcelo Gallardo as the three leading candidates.

The Guardian also outlined Leeds have other options including the likes of the Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and Bodø/Glimt’s Kjetil Knutsen, too.

Leeds All Over sources have indicated to us that all of the above are on the list of options, with the Whites keeping their options open at this stage.

This one refuses to go away, and the longer that the club’s pursuit persists with Iraola, the more likely Vallecano are to soften, especially should his interest also continue.

There is a solution there for Leeds potentially, as they wouldn’t keep going for further talks if there was a definitive no from both club and manager.

Despite Rayo’s position in the league being much more attractive than Leeds’ current situation, the Premier League lure is strong. Leeds need to act quickly now, given their perilous position in the league table.

Iraola is a fantastic coach and should be pushed for if Leeds have the means to do so. It’s pleasing for Leeds fans to hear that the deal is not yet dead.

Who should replace Marsch long-term?

Arne Slot

Arne Slot

Andoni Iraola

Andoni Iraola

Marcelo Gallardo

Marcelo Gallardo



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