The major challenges of the Elland road! Andoni Iraola is leading the race to become Leeds United’s new manager after the arrival of Carlos Corberan, with Feyenoord boss Arne Slot emerging as one of the main contenders.
Leeds United have stepped up negotiations with Rayo Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola after Carlos Corberan rejected the chance to become their new manager on Tuesday night.
Director of Football Victor Orta was reportedly in Madrid on Tuesday night as part of a delegation from Leeds hoping to persuade Iraola to take over from Jesse Marsch. The move came after Corberan opted to stay at West Bromwich and sign a new long-term contract.
Leeds are also continuing to assess other options, should the Iraola talks fail, with Feyenoord’s Arne Slot also offered to the club on Tuesday.
Corberan was favored by many at Leeds, including owner Andrea Radrizzani, but they only offered him an 18-month contract. West Bromwich have made it clear to Corberan that they want him to oversee a long-term plan culminating in promotion to the top flight.
Albion confirmed in a statement: “We are delighted that Carlos Corberan has signed a contract extension which will see him remain at the Hawthorns until 2027.”
Corberan said: “The way I was received at this great club has convinced me that this is the right place for me.” Radrizzani had suggested a date in Leeds was close on Tuesday night when he wrote on Twitter: “We’re on it. Hopefully there will be white smoke by tonight or tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, Orta traveled to Madrid after being at the club’s Thorp Arch training ground earlier today to brief the players on the latest developments.
His target, former Spain international Iraola, has led Rayo Vallecano to fifth in La Liga and is taking inspiration from former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, with whom he played at Athletic Bilbao.
The 40-year-old dodged questions over 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,” Iraola said. “The players make us look better. They are the ones who achieve it.
Orta is also said to have sounded out Spain and Real Madrid legend Raul, now in charge of the club’s ‘B’ team, but no further talks with him are planned.
For tonight’s clash with Manchester United, Leeds will be led by Under-21 coaches Michael Skubala and Paco Gallardo, along with Chris Armas, who was recently brought in to assist Marsch.
“It’s temporary,” Skubala said on Tuesday. “Whatever happens between tomorrow and Sunday remains to be seen. The owners are working hard behind the scenes to find the solution and they are really positive about it.
Carlos Corberan opted to stay at West Brom and signed a new long-term contract, ruling himself out for the Leeds job
Jesse Marsch was sacked by Leeds United on Monday after a poor run of Premier League results
Skubala only joined Leeds last summer after working with the FA as head coach of the England futsal team and then the England Under-18s. “It’s probably every manager’s dream to go and lead a Premier League team against Manchester United,” admitted Skubala, close to England boss Gareth Southgate.
“It’s not intimidating, it’s an exciting prospect. I don’t think any of us need to sign players for Manchester United at Old Trafford. As coaches we like challenges and this is a good challenge.
“As long as we’re competitive and put on a good show, that’s all we can ask for. If we can sting something, that would be great.
Skubala believes the insight of Armas and fellow manager Ewan Sharp will be invaluable against Manchester United, both of whom worked there under Ralf Rangnick last season.
“We have Chris and Ewan backstage,” he said. “They have a lot of information about the players there.”
Skubala revealed he spoke to Marsch on Monday after he was sacked, with the American bidding farewell to Thorp Arch staff 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 goodbye in a really professional and caring way.”