Leeds United are firming up their chase to appoint a new manager in succession to Jesse Marsch – and have reportedly now offered the job to their new No 1 target, according to a leading reporter.
The Whites are seeking a successor to Marsch, who was giving the boot on Monday afternoon. His reign at Elland Road lasted just under a year – and he leaves West Yorkshire having only overseen four wins all season – and just two since August.
While Leeds were playing fairly well in patches under the American, the results were just not coming. Still, the timing of his departure came as something of a surprise given his backing in the January transfer window.
Managerless Leeds put their troubles aside on Wednesday night with an excellent display at Manchester United. Claiming a 2-2 draw, Leeds will, however, leave with some regret having moved into a 2-0 lead at the start of the second half.
Their opener, though, was a thing of beauty from Willy Gnonto. And the teenager, who broke an Old Trafford record in the process, earned high acclaim from Michael Owen after the game.
Nonetheless, Leeds are hoping to get a new man at the helm as quickly as possible.
However, finding that successor to Marsch has already proven quite problematic. First up, one of their reported targets, Carlos Corberan, was quickly rewarded with a new West Brom deal.
And while he was not reportedly Leeds’ top choice, that honour seemingly fell to Ray Vallencano boss Andoni Iraola.
And amid reports that Victor Orta was heading to Spain for talks with him on Wednesday, their interest has also seemingly been swatted aside.
Indeed, with Vallecano fifth in LaLiga, Iraola has reportedly vowed to see out his deal with the Madrid-based club.
Leeds make approach for Arne Slot
However, finding a success for Marsch might not be too far away for Leeds.
And according to the Independent reporter Miguel Delaney, Leeds have now offered the manager’s job to Feyenoord coach Arne Slot.
The 44-year-old coach has taken his side to the summit of the Eredivisie. And with a two-point advantage over Slot’s former side, AZ Alkmaar, they have a great chance of being crowned champions for the first time since 2017.
But according to Delaney, Leeds have now made their move to lure Slot away.
He writes that Leeds feel that Slot’s intense and aggressive approach fits what the club want in this post-Marcelo Bielsa era. As a result, the Whites are ‘intent on taking their interest to the next stage’ by offering Slot the job.
Leeds are currently 16th in the Premier League but just a point clear of the relegation zone with Manchester United up next once again.
And the biggest issue for Leeds is Feyenoord’s position at the top of the Eredivisie. Would Slot want to leave a potential title parade for a relegation scrap in the Premier League? To that end, Slot has already received a strong warning.
Slot responds to Leeds speculation
The Feyenoord boss oversaw his side’s match on Wednesday evening as they overcame NEC Nijmegen on penalties in the KNVB Cup.
After the match, Slot was asked about the Leeds vacancy, though he was giving little away when questioned.
“Yes, I have read it on the well-known football site, but I have not seen anything on my phone yet. At least not in my messages,” he said, as quoted by Algemeen Dagblad.
Slot is also playing it cautious around what he would do were Leeds to contact him..
“Suppose they do call? Yes, suppose that, I can’t do much with that.”
Turning the focus back to his side’s win in the cup, he added: “I think we should be especially happy with this victory.”
Leeds will hope for quick progress on their reported approach. In the meantime, coaches Chris Armas and Michael Skubala will continue to prepare the side for Sunday’s game against the Red Devils.
Skubala, though, is adamant that his time in charge is only temporary.
“This is temporary, I’ll go back to my old role when this is done. I’m just getting through this first game. Whatever happens between tomorrow and Sunday remains to be seen,” he said.
“I’ve seen change quite a lot so it’s important to be calm. It’s been busy, but it’s a good challenge. The owners are working really hard behind the scenes to find the solution.”