Leeds blocked from appointing frontrunner as alternative manager is approached

Leeds United have suffered yet another setback in their search for Jesse Marsch's replacement after Rayo Vallecano blocked them from approaching Andoni Iraola.

Iraola, 40, had emerged as the leading candidate to replace Marsch in the Elland Road dugout after previous no.1 target Carlos Corberan, who was previously employed as Under-23s and first-team coach under Marcelo Bielsa, snubbed a move back to Yorkshire by penning a new deal at West Bromwich Albion.

The Rayo Vallecano manager has guided the club to the brink of Champions League qualification, sitting just three points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, but is understood to be keen on the Leeds project.

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Director of football Victor Orta flew to Madrid on Tuesday to hold talks with Iraola and Leeds had hoped to agree on a compensation package to relieve him of his contract, which is due to expire in June. However, Sky Sports report that the La Liga side blocked a deal as they want to retain the Spaniard until the end of the season.

After seeing approaches knocked back for Corberan and Iraola, Leeds have now made a third proposal in the hope of finally ending their managerial woes – this time approaching Feyenoord boss Arne Slot, The Independent report.

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The 44-year-old guided the Dutch side to the final of the inaugural Europa Conference League last season and they currently sit top of the Eredivisie having lost just one match all season.

The feeling amongst the Leeds hierarchy is that Slot's intense and aggressive principles will be key in the fight for survival whilst also not deviating too considerably from the foundations built at the club by Bielsa.

Former England futsal manager Michael Skubala is taking interim charge for the time being and was in the dugout for the 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Wednesday evening.

Leeds currently reside 16th in the Premier League table, one point outside the relegation zone, having moved above West Ham now through goals scored.


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