United are in negotiations with Rayo Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola after Carlos Corberan rejected the chance to become their new manager.
Director of football Victor Orta was understood to be in Madrid on Tuesday evening as part of a Leeds delegation hoping to persuade Iraola to succeed Jesse Marsch.The move came after Corberan opted to stay at West Bromwich and sign a new long-term contract.
Leeds are continuing to assess other options, too, with the Iraola talks said to be in the balance on Tuesday night. Feyenoord’s Arne Slot also proposed to the club on Tuesday and was installed as the bookies’ favourite.
Corberan was favoured by many at Leeds including owner Andrea Radrizzani but they only proposed an 18-month deal to him.West Bromwich made it clear to Corberan that they wanted him to oversee a long-term plan resulting in promotion to the top flight.
Albion confirmed in a statement: ‘We are delighted Carlos Corberan has signed a contract extension which will see him remain at the Hawthorns until 2027.’
Corberan said: ‘The way I have been made to feel welcome at this great club has made me confident this is the right place for me.’ Radrizzani had suggested that an appointment at Leeds was close on Tuesday night when he wrote on Twitter: ‘We are on it.Hopefully white smoke by tonight or tomorrow morning.’
Meanwhile, Orta travelled to Madrid having been at the club’s Thorp Arch training ground earlier in the day to update players on the latest developments.
His target, former Spain international Iraola, has led Rayo Vallecano to fifth in La Liga and draws his coaching inspiration from former 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 Spain and Real Madrid legend Raul, now in charge of the club’s ‘B’ team, but no further talks with him are expected.
For tonight’s clash with Manchester United, Leeds will be led by Under 21s coaches Michael Skubala and Paco Gallardo, plus 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 hard behind the scenes to find the solution and they’re really positive with that.’
Carlos Corberan has opted to stay at West Brom and signed a new long-term deal, ruling himself out for the Leeds job
Jesse Marsch was sacked by Leeds United on Monday after a poor refferal gacor run of results in the Premier League
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.’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 players up for Manchester United at Old Trafford.As coaches we enjoy challenges and this is a good challenge.
‘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’d be good.’
Skubala believes the insight of Armas and fellow coach Ewan Sharp will be invaluable against Manchester United, with them both having worked there under Ralf Rangnick last season.
‘We’ve got Chris and Ewan behind the scenes,’ he said.’They’ve got a lot of insight into the players there.’
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.’