Leeds ‘first choice’ is ‘desperate to work in the Premier League’ and has ‘asked’ to replace Marsch

Jason Soutar
Reported Leeds target Andoni Iraola during a match

Leeds United’s ‘preferred’ managerial candidate Andoni Iraola has reportedly told Rayo Vallecano he is ‘desperate to work in the Premier League’.

The Yorkshire outfit are on the search for a new head coach after relieving Jesse Marsch of his duties on Monday.

The Whites went into Wednesday’s Premier League match at arch-rivals Manchester United without a permanent boss, but managed to pick up an impressive 2-2 draw.

They were unfortunate not to win at Old Trafford having gone 2-0 up early on in the second half.

However, Marcus Rashford continued his scoring form with a superb header before Jadon Sancho hit an equaliser 11 minutes after coming off the bench.

It was an admirable performance with Chris Armas, Michael Skubala and Paco Gallardo in the dugout, though it is believed that Leeds want their new boss in charge for Sunday’s league match against the Red Devils.

Ex-Leeds assistant coach and current West Bromwich Albion boss Carlos Corberan quickly emerged as the favourite to replace Marsch, however, he penned a contract extension earlier this week amidst rumours of a return to Elland Road.

It now looks like it is between Rayo Vallecano head coach Iraola and Feyenoord manager Arne Slot.

Both managers are doing a brilliant job with their respective clubs. Feyenoord are currently top of the Eredivisie while Vallecano sit fifth in La Liga after only earning promotion in 2021-22.

In a boost to United, Iraola is eager to move to England, according to the Daily Record.

The report states that Iraola has ‘told Rayo Vallecano he wants to leave them in order to take charge of Leeds United’.

The Spaniard is Leeds’ ‘first choice to replace Jesse Marsch’ and despite rumours of some interest in Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou, the Hoops have always been ‘confident’ the Aussie would stay.

Leeds director of football Victor Orta has been in Spain to speak to Iraola before returning to England to watch the clash at Old Trafford.

Orta is in ‘constant dialogue’ with Vallecano in order to negotiate a compensation fee for their promising head coach.

They are said to want a ‘sizeable compensation’ package despite the fact the 40-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season.

Talks over the deal mean Leeds run the risk of not having Iraola in charge of Sunday’s game against Manchester United.

Speaking on talkSPORT, former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan has predicted that Iraola would bring more “organised chaos”, as Marsch did.

On the potential appointment of Iraola, Jordan said: “All of that doesn’t fill me or inspire me with a great deal of confidence for Leeds.

“If they want someone who brings organised chaos then they don’t need any help with that because they’ve got that already. That’s what has got them into the mess that they are in. Jesse Marsch provided organised chaos, the team wasn’t not playing for him.

“They don’t need organised chaos. They need to structure the side, give it some balance, and some shape. I hate using the word philosophy but get some organisational thinking about how they are going to play and then stick to it.”

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