Leeds manager latest: Orta ready to pay target’s release clause, as Liverpool legend is put forward

Leeds director of football Victor Orta

Leeds Utd are willing to activate the release clause of their ‘initial favourite’ to succeed Jesse Marsch after another confirmed snub, though a former Whites striker has explained why they should appoint Steven Gerrard instead.

Michael Skubala has taken temporary charge of Leeds Utd following Jesse Marsch’s sacking on Monday. Skubala was in the dugout for their pulsating 2-2 draw with Man Utd at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Given the slow pace of their new managerial pursuit, it’s looking like Skubala will lead the troops once again in reverse fixture at Elland Road on Sunday.

Indeed, Leeds have found it difficult attracting a top tier candidate, with Carlos Corberan the first to officially rule himself out of contention.

The West Brom boss signed a new contract at the Hawthorns during the week and reaffirmed his commitment to the Baggies.

That came after Leeds had seen an early approach for Rayo Vallecano’s Andoni Iraola rejected. The Guardian reported Leeds chief Victor Orta personally flew to Spain earlier this week in the hopes of forging a deal.

However, both Rayo and the highly-regarded Iraola proved ‘resistant’ to his attempts.

Feyenoord’s Arne Slot them came into focus, but the Dutchman has publicly confirmed he’ll not be moving to west Yorkshire.

“I will stay with Feyenoord,” Slot told a press conference on Thursday. “That is clear, fans do not have to be afraid.

“It was a great compliment that a club like Leeds was interested but we are doing something great with Feyenoord.

“We’re in a great position in the league, in the cup and in Europe. There is no disappointment. It is certainly not a punishment for me to stay here.”

Now, the Guardian add Slot’s refusal has emboldened Leeds and Orta to go back on for ‘initial favourite’ Iraola.

They claim Leeds are ‘expected’ to make a ‘renewed attempt’ to lure the 40-year-old Spaniard to England.

In the event Iraola softens his stance, it’s also claimed Leeds are ‘prepared to pay’ the release clause in his contract which is understood to be worth somewhere between £7m-£10m.

Leeds told they’re making a mistake

One observer who thinks Leeds are making a mistake if appointing Iraola is Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

The Dutchman used Everton’s immediate turnaround under the Premier League proven Sean Dyche as an example as to why Leeds should appoint someone who knows the English top flight well.

On that front, Hasselbaink put forward the name of Liverpool legend and former Aston Villa boss, Steven Gerrard.

“The safest bet is someone that knows the Premier League,” said Hasselbaink, who scored a goal every other game with Leeds between 1997-99. “They have to come in and get Elland Road rocking again.

“Just look at what Sean Dyche did in his first game at Everton, who have now found a little sparkle.

“Hiring someone that knows the Premier League is the best solution.

“Steven Gerrard is a great shout. He knows the Premier League but he also knew what went wrong at Aston Villa.

“He’s a big personality and can handle the pressure of Leeds as a big club, having also managed at Rangers.

“I can see him managing Leeds.”

For the time being at least, it appears Leeds’ primary target is once again Iraola. For what it’s worth, Gerrard has barely registered on the bookmakers’ radar.

PREDICTIONS: Big Merseyside derby verdict; Potter Hammered; Man Utd learn lessons at Leeds; Bees stung by rampant Arsenal