Photo: Juanjo Martin/EPA
It seems increasingly likely that Leeds will be given a temporary interim managerial appointment until the end of the season, as it becomes clear that Andoni Iraola is unwilling to leave Rayo Vallecano before the summer.
The Leeds board held talks on Monday about possible candidates for that role, with almost the only certainty that Alfred Schreuder will not be Jesse Marsch’s successor.
Schreuder was at Elland Road on Sunday to watch Leeds lose 2-0 to Manchester United and spoke to executives about the post-match vacancy, but the former Ajax head coach had flown to England in part to catch up with two old friends in the visiting manager, Erik ten Hag and Ten Hag’s assistant, Steve McClaren. Schreuder was McClaren’s number 2 at FC Twente for a while.
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Schreuder, who lost his job at Ajax two weeks ago after seven games without a win, was one of the managers who had talks this weekend with Leeds director of football Victor Orta and his colleagues.
While the publicity surrounding Schreuder’s appearance at Elland Road can’t have hurt his job hunt, it didn’t sit well with Leeds fans who crave a manager with a more impressive resume to succeed Marsch.
However, a week after the American’s sacking, Leeds have not made the progress they had hoped for in finding a replacement.
Last week they were rejected by Arne Slot of Feyenoord and another contender, Carlos Corberán, signed a new contract with West Brom. Leeds are really interested in three, possibly four managers, but they all seem unavailable until the summer.
Chief on that list is Iraola, but Leeds are on the verge of accepting that he cannot be waved away from the La Liga club until June at the earliest.
With the much-admired Marcelo Gallardo, who left River Plate last October, also unwilling to join a club before the summer, Leeds executives have turned their attention to potential interim managers who could save the team from relegation.
Despite caretaker Michael Skubala being in charge of two decent performances as Leeds drew 2-2 at Old Trafford last Wednesday before losing to Ten Hag’s side four days later, the club hopes to be six in time for relegation to have a new man at the helm from Saturday. pointer at Everton.
That match is followed by an equally high stakes when struggling Southampton visit seven days later. In one of those football-rich coincidences, Marsch is high on Southampton’s shortlist to replace Nathan Jones, who was sacked on Sunday.