Leeds United have identified Rayo Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola as a possible candidate for their vacant position, 90min can confirm.
Jesse Marsch was relieved of his duties earlier this week after a run of seven games without a win left them facing a real battle to avoid relegation over the remainder of the season.
90min confirmed at the time that West Brom’s Carlos Corberan, a former Leeds Under-23 boss, was the Yorkshire outfit’s first choice, but he has since signed a new contract with the Baggies and so director of football Victor Orta is keen to explore his options, one of which is Iraola.
Iraola was a player during Marcelo Bielsa’s time at Athletic Club and even has a link to the current Leeds squad, having played alongside winger Jack Harrison at New York City in Major League Soccer.
Similar in style to Bielsa, Iraola brought Vallecano up from the Spanish second tier and his side are currently defying expectations in fifth in La Liga.
The Spaniard was recently asked about a potential move to Elland Road to replace Marsch, but chose to keep his cards close to his chest.
“Football belongs to the footballers,” he said. “We [coaches] are not so important.
“Players make us look better and I’m lucky to have players who are showing their level. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be achieving anything. I’m clear about my role. They are the ones who are achieving this.”
Leeds will travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Wednesday, with the team left to Michael Skubala, Paco Gallardo and Chris Armas while the search for a new boss goes on.
However, 90min understands Leeds are hopeful of having a new manager in time for Sunday’s meeting with Man Utd, which will take place at Elland Road.