Leeds board have five candidates to replace Jesse Marsch

Jesse Marsch sacked as Leeds boss

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Leeds United are on the lookout for a new permanent manager following the sacking of Jesse Marsch, who was officially relieved of his duties on Monday afternoon. The 49-year-old leaves Elland Road after less than a year off the back of Sunday’s defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest, which sees them hovering narrowly above the Premier League’s drop zone with a game in hand on 18th-placed Everton.

Marsch was drafted in towards the end of last season to fill the void left by Marcelo Bielsa’s departure and managed to keep Leeds afloat on the final day of the campaign, but struggled to make any sort of positive progress in recent months despite being heavily backed in the transfer market. His sacking leaves the Whites in need of a new manager to steady the ship and ensure Premier League survival once again, with plenty of time left for them to steer clear of the relegation zone before the season draws to a close.

Leeds confirmed Marsch’s departure with an official statement on Monday, which read: “We would like to thank Jesse and his backroom staff for their efforts and wish them well for the future. The process of appointing a new head coach is underway and we will continue to keep supporters up to date throughout the coming days.”

Express Sport takes a look at five potential candidates who could be in line to replace Marsch in the dugout at Elland Road in the not-too-distant future…

JUST IN: Leeds sack Jesse Marsch as internal boardroom tension grows

Carlos Corberan

A realistic option for Leeds to pursue could emerge in the form of Carlos Corberan, who has overseen a remarkable transformation at West Bromwich Albion over the last few months. The former Swansea City boss has dragged the Baggies out of the relegation zone and into the play-off places and could be in a strong position to have a similar impact if he is appointed by Leeds over the coming days.

Corberan is already a name known well by the Yorkshire outfit after managing their under-23 side and working as a first-team coach under Bielsa in previous years. Leeds would obviously need to pay compensation to West Brom if they decide to mount an approach for the 39-year-old, although this should not prove to be too much of an issue for one of the richest clubs in world football.

Ange Postecoglu

Ange Postecoglu arrived at Celtic in 2021 as a relative unknown after spending much of his managerial career in Japan and Australia but quickly silenced any doubters and is now considered to be one of the finest head coaches north of the border. His commitment to high-octane pressing football would likely go down well with Leeds supporters, who became accustomed to Bielsa’s signature style during the Argentine icon’s legendary spell at Elland Road.

Postecoglu seems to be enjoying his project at Celtic as things stand, with the Bhoys currently nine points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership table and on course to deny Rangers the chance to seal the domestic honours once again. However, the pull of a Premier League job could be a tempting option for the 57-year-old to pursue if Leeds come calling at some point in the not-too-distant future.

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Kjetil Knutsen

Kjetil Knutsen has regularly been linked with a move to the Premier League over the last few seasons as a result of his stellar work at Bodo/Glimt since joining the Norwegian hopefuls back in 2018. He has helped to establish the club on the European stage and his achievements have not gone under the radar, with the 54-year-old winning back-to-back league titles in 2020 and 2021.

He is known in Norway for his aggressive style of play, leading to obvious comparisons with Bielsa, and has previously been mentioned in connection with the likes of Brighton, Norwich, Aston Villa and Bournemouth. It remains to be seen whether Knutsen will finally get his big break in the Premier League with Leeds, although the Whites could do far worse than to chase a move for his signature in their bid to secure Marsch’s eventual replacement.

Mauricio Pochettino

Perhaps the most exciting appointment Leeds could make would be to tempt Mauricio Pochettino back into the English game, although such a move would appear to be fairly ambitious at this stage of proceedings. The former Tottenham boss has been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain last year and was linked with the Manchester United job before the Red Devils eventually appointed Erik ten Hag at the end of the previous campaign.

Pochettino’s arrival at Elland Road would almost certainly be one to get the fans onside, although recent reports have suggested that he is holding out for a Champions League club to come in for his services further down the line. He is also largely untested at teams in the midst of relegation battles, which suggests that Leeds may decide to take a more pragmatic approach as they look to achieve Premier League survival over the coming months.

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Marcelo Bielsa

He couldn’t… could he?

The prospect of Marcelo Bielsa returning to Leeds would certainly be a winner with the club’s supporters, who he is revered by for leading them into the Premier League after blitzing the Championship and keeping them there in their first season as a top-flight club for some time.

Bielsa is still held in high regard by the powers that be at Elland Road, although it seems unlikely that the club’s decision-makers will look to bring him back to Yorkshire over the coming days. They are instead pursuing alternative leads, according to Fabrizio Romano, while it remains to be seen what the man himself would think about returning to the club he was sacked by just 12 months ago.

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