Leeds United managerial candidate Andoni Iraola was ‘attracted’ by the prospect of becoming their next boss but has decided to remain at current club Rayo Vallecano, according to a report.
Leeds have been looking for a new manager ever since sacking American Jesse Marsch on Monday. That decision came after a run of seven Premier League matches without a victory, with the Whites gradually getting sucked towards the relegation zone.
Leeds have progressed in the FA Cup recently, beating Accrington Stanley 3-1 to book their place in the fifth round of the competition. However, this was not enough to save Marsch’s job.
Director of football Victor Orta is working hard to bring in a new coach who will be able to get the best out of the talented group of players.
After being rejected by West Brom’s Carlos Corberan, who has signed a new deal at the Hawthorns, Orta has turned his attention to Rayo manager Iraola.
The 40-year-old is doing a great job at Rayo, as they sit fifth in La Liga and could achieve European qualification for next season.
On Wednesday, Orta reportedly flew out to Spain to hold negotiations with Iraola. However, it seems his charm offensive fell on deaf ears.
Spanish outlet Marca provide an update on the situation and claim Iraola will be staying at Rayo. While he is ‘attracted’ by the potential of managing at Elland Road, he does not want to leave Rayo at such an integral part of the season.
Leeds manager target to stay put
Making next season’s Champions League or Europa League would cap off his excellent spell in charge of the club. He does not wish to throw it all away by replacing Marsch at Leeds.
Another factor which is weighing heavily on Iraola’s mind is his great relationship with Rayo. They have helped him develop as a coach and given him a platform to shine.
He wants to leave at a more respectable time, such as in the summer. Unfortunately for Leeds, this will be too late. They need a new manager to arrive now and steer the side away from the bottom three.
While Orta will be disappointed by the latest snub, he already has other irons in the fire. According to Miguel Delaney of The Independent, the role has now been offered to Arne Slot of Feyenoord.
Slot has built up a great reputation at Feyenoord and currently has them top of the Eredivise. This, coupled with his aggressive style of play, has piqued Leeds’ interest.
However, the main problem for Leeds is convincing Slot to move away from Feyenoord. If he stays with the Dutch outfit, then he could help them win their first league title since 2016-17.
Whereas at Leeds, the 44-year-old’s first job would be to get Leeds out of a relegation battle.