Romano names likely Marsch successor and gives intriguing update on Bielsa Leeds return rumours

Harry Watkinson

Fabrizio Romano has said it is ‘unlikely’ that former Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa will return to Elland Road to replace Jesse Marsch, but has named a more probable alternative.

The Whites currently find themselves outside the relegation zone only on goal difference, after winning just four of their 20 opening league matches.

It feels like Marsch’s departure has been a long time coming, but Leeds must get their next appointment right if they want any hope of avoiding a disastrous return to the Championship.

Bielsa is still very much a cult hero at Leeds, after he guided them back into the Premier League after 16 years outside the top flight, winning the Championship title in 2020.

His fast-paced, hard-working and frantic style caught the imagination of football fans, as his team thrived in the 2020/21 season with an impressive ninth-place finish.

However, the Argentine was ultimately sacked last season, as the Whites found themselves in real danger of going down and it seemed that Bielsa was still unwilling to change his characteristic 100mph style.

Marsch then took the helm at Elland Road, as Leeds narrowly avoided the drop by just three points.

But, the American’s time at the Yorkshire side came to an end on Monday, following a disappointing 1-0 defeat to fellow relegation contenders Nottingham Forest.

In response, some Leeds supporters have called for Bielsa to make a return to the club, as he remains extremely popular with the fan base and with many of their players.

Interestingly, Bielsa was heavily linked with becoming the new Everton manager as recently as last month, even arriving for negotiations with the club’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

Ultimately though, it was Sean Dyche who was appointed, and he got off to a fantastic start with a 1-0 win over league-leaders Arsenal on Saturday.

Despite the speculation, Romano has suggested that the Leeds hierarchy wants to go in a different direction with their new manager.

On Twitter, he said: “More on Leeds United. Marcelo Bielsa return is described as ‘unlikely’ at this stage — huge respect for what he did in the past but plans look now different as things stand.”

“Leeds are speaking to other candidates while Jesse Marsch has been fired.”

Romano then went on to name someone who does have a good chance of getting the role: “Leeds United have included West Brom coach Carlos Corberan in the list as one of the candidates to replace Jesse Marsch as new manager.

“Understand Leeds want a coach for long-term project and conversations are now ongoing.”

Indeed, former Leeds coach Corberan has been successful at West Brom this season, with his team currently in a playoff spot.

Albion fans would be gutted to see the Spanish coach go, given they have a real chance of returning to the Premier League for the first time since 2018.

But, the draw of Leeds may be difficult for the Corberan to turn down, so we may well see him in the Elland Road dugout in the near future.

READ MORE: Leeds sack Jesse Marsch after Nottingham Forest defeat, already ‘working on’ his replacement