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Leeds next manager: Rayo Vallecano boss Andoni Iraola lined up as Marsch replacement after Raul rejection

10:11 GMT 08/02/2023
Andoni Iraola Rayo Vallecano
Leeds United have identified Rayo Vallecano's Andoni Iraola as the man they want to replace Jesse Marsch, who was dismissed after a poor recent run.
  • Leeds turn to Andoni Iraola
  • Spaniard is in his third season with Rayo
  • Has his side in fight for top four

WHAT'S HAPPENING? With Marsch sacked and the club sucked into a relegation battle, Leeds United have identified the coach they wish to take them forward. GOAL understands Iraola has been identified as a lead candidate for the vacant position, with the club convinced he is one of the best coaches around at the moment and believing he would fit in well at Elland Road.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Leeds initially approached Raul Gonzalez - manager of Real Madrid Castilla - over taking the job, but he turned down the opportunity, with GOAL understanding he did not wish to leave mid-season. Iraola's contract with Rayo currently runs until the end of the 2022-23 season, and he is said to be happy at the club. It has not been disclosed what sort of compensation Leeds would have to pay in order to release him prematurely.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Another option was Spanish coach Carlos Corberan, who took charge of West Brom in October 2022. Corberan worked as manager of Leeds' under-23 side from 2017 to 2020 and took west Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town to the Championship play-off final. However, he has just penned a new deal with the Baggies, essentially taking himself out of the running.

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WHAT NEXT? Rayo will be desperate to keep Iraola, at least until the end of the season, with the club in a very strong position in La Liga and very much still in the fight for a Champions League finish. Leeds, meanwhile, have back-to-back games against rivals Manchester United and must get their new manager in as soon as possible in order to avoid falling further down the league standings.