Exclusive: Karanka emerges as Radrizzani’s Plan B at Leeds

James Marshment
Aitor Karanka: Vows to fight until the end

Leeds United are considering a move for former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka should talks over an extended deal with Garry Monk fail to see an agreement reached, TEAMtalk understands.

Andrea Radrizzani has just completed his takeover at Elland Road, and he has already wasted little time in putting together the team he wants.

Monk signed a rolling 12-month contract upon his appointment as Leeds boss last summer, and while the club look likely to trigger the option of another year, Monk has reportedly set his sights on a longer-term deal.

Should talks fail to see an agreement reached between the parties, Leeds could be forced to look for a new manager and our sources have told us that Karanka could well be an option.

Meanwhile, Radrizanni has been busy assembling the team together he wants: West Ham United managing director Angus Kinnear is coming in to replace Ben Mansford, and former Real Madrid executive Ivan Bravo has been brought in as a director.

TEAMtalk also understand that Middlesbrough’s recently-departed head of recruitment Victor Orta has been offered the role as technical director, and on the back of that he has recommended Karanka to come in as coach.

Leeds are now waiting for Orta to take up their offer, which he is clear to do after Boro confirmed his exit.

Karanka, who is keen on the Wolves job which is about to come up, is already settled in North Yorkshire, so would not have to move his family to take on the role at Elland Road – which is sure to appeal.

The Spaniard, who saw his Boro squad relegated after just one season in the Premier League, was sacked in March with the Teessiders heading for the drop – but it is his previous two years in the Championship that is appealing to Radrizanni.

He guided Boro to a play-off final defeat before an automatic promotion the following season and Leeds are craving that kind of success, after missing out on the play-offs this season.

Garry Monk: Felt Leeds deserved Derby win

Many feel Monk did a great job on a limited budget, and although the failure to keep Monk on board would not go down well with supporters, Radrizzani clearly has his doubts – which may or may not be ironed out in the coming days.

Ironically, Monk could be heading to Karanka’s former club Middlesbrough – who have been impressed by the former Swansea boss.