Leeds want to appoint a new manager in time for Man United's visit

Leeds want to appoint Jesse Marsch’s replacement in time for Man United’s visit to Elland Road on Sunday – as owner Andrea Radrizzani jets in from Italy with Andoni Iraola and Carlos Corberan heading a four-man shortlist

  • Leeds sacked Jesse Marsch after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest 
  • Rayo Vallecano’s Andoni Iraola and West Brom’s Carlos Corberan frontrunners
  • Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani is understood to be flying into England to sort 

Leeds United want to appoint a new manager in time for Sunday’s match with Manchester United – with Rayo Vallecano boss Andoni Iraola and West Brom’s Carlos Corberan the frontrunners.

Club sources have indicated the Whites have narrowed their search down to a shortlist of four and started interviewing on Monday night. However, all of their top candidates are currently in jobs, which could delay their quest to have a new man in place by the weekend.

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani is understood to be flying into England from his home in Italy to head up the process. 

Chief executive Angus Kinnear and director of football Victor Orta, meanwhile, held a meeting with players at the club’s Thorp Arch training ground on Tuesday to update them on the latest developments.

Orta was influential in the appointment of Marsch last year and is again playing a key role in hiring his successor, leaning on his connections in his Spanish homeland. 

Leeds United want to appoint a permanent replacement for Jesse Marsch in time for Sunday’s match with Manchester United

Corberan (left) and Iraola (right) have emerged as the frontrunners to replace Jesse Marsch, who was sacked on Monday

He is keen on former Spain international Iraola, who has led Rayo to fifth in La Liga and draws his coaching inspiration from ex-Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, who he played under at Athletic Bilbao.

The 40-year-old sidestepped questions about a possible move to Elland Road following Rayo’s 2-0 win over Almeria on Monday night. ‘Football belongs to the footballers, we are not that important,’ said Iraola. ‘The players make us look better. They are the ones who are achieving this.’

Orta is also understood to have sounded out Real Madrid legend Raul, now in charge of the club’s ‘B’ team, but no further talks with him are expected. Radrizzani is a fan of Corberan, who previously worked at Leeds under Bielsa, and the Baggies boss would be keen on a switch back to West Yorkshire.

For Wednesday night’s match against rivals Manchester United, Leeds will be led by Under-21s coaches Michael Skubala and Paco Gallardo, as well as Chris Armas, who was recently brought in to assist Marsch.

‘This is temporary,’ said Skubala on Tuesday. ‘Whatever happens between tomorrow and Sunday remains to be seen. The owners are working really hard behind the scenes to find the solution and they’re really positive with that.’

Skubala only joined Leeds last summer having worked with the FA as head coach of the England Futsal team and then England’s Under-18s. ‘I think it’s probably every coach’s dream to go and lead a team in the Premier League against Manchester United,’ admitted Skubala, who is close to England boss Gareth Southgate.

‘It’s not daunting, it’s an exciting prospect. I don’t think any of us need to get any players up for Manchester United at Old Trafford. As coaches we enjoy challenges and this is a good challenge for the players and for myself.

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani is understood to be flying into England from his home in Italy to head up the process

Leeds will be led by Under 21s coach Michael Skubala for the first game against Man United on Wednesday

‘As long as we’re competitive and we put on a good show, that’s the most we can ask for. If we can nick something, that would be good.’

Skubala believes the insight of Armas and fellow coach Ewan Sharp will be invaluable against Manchester United, with them both having worked under Ralf Rangnick at Old Trafford last season.

‘We’ve got Chris and Ewan behind the scenes,’ he said. ‘They’ve got a lot of insight into the players there and their attributes and their profiles.’

Skubala revealed he spoke to Marsch on Monday following his sacking, with the American saying his goodbyes to staff at Thorp Arch later that day.

‘It’s a disappointing time for Jesse but he was very professional,’ he added. ‘He was very caring for the staff and just said his goodbyes in a really professional and caring manner.’

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