Leeds update on manager search as Celtic's Ange Postecoglou remains among frontrunners

Leeds interim boss Michael Skubala says work is well under way to find a replacement for Jesse Marsch amid speculation linking Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou with the vacancy.

Under-21s coach Skubala will take charge of Wednesday’s Premier League game at Manchester United following Marsch’s dismissal on Monday after less than a year in the role. It is understood Leeds had a shortlist in place and interviews have already started at Elland Road for the club’s 13th head coach in less than 10 years.

Skubala said: “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. 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.”

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Rayo Vallecano head coach Andoni Iraola, 40, is understood to be among the candidates Leeds are keen to speak to, along with West Brom head coach Carlos Corberan, who worked under Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road. Iraola’s reputation has grown in La Liga during his two-and-a-half years as a coach with unfashionable Vallecano, who he has guided to fifth place in the table. Corberan remains the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Marsch – the Spaniard has guided West Brom from 23rd to sixth in the Championship since arriving in October – while Celtic boss Postecoglou and Mauricio Pochettino are high on the list.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has been listed among the frontrunners for the Leeds Uited vacancy. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has been listed among the frontrunners for the Leeds Uited vacancy. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has been listed among the frontrunners for the Leeds Uited vacancy. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Former Parkhead striker Chris Sutton is of “no doubt Postecoglou will manage in the Premier League” but believes the Australian would be wary of leaving the club during the season, the way in which Brendan Rodgers did when he took over at Leicester City in 2019.

“It left a bad taste in the mouths of supporters who had idolised him,” Sutton told the Daily Record. “There was a furious response. There was a feeling he left them in the lurch and he still hasn’t been forgiven in the eyes of a lot of supporters. But from what I get from Postecoglou’s comments he would want to finish the job he started.

“There’s a title to be retained, the Viaplay Cup Final around the corner and the Scottish Cup on the line as well. There’s also the Champions League again and that is something I think will be a big motivating factor for him.

“There will come a time when the Premier League comes calling, and I believe he will be a success at that level. But there is still work to be done at Celtic.”

Leeds, without a league win since November 5, take on arch-rivals Manchester United twice in the space of five days, with the return fixture due at Elland Road on Sunday. Club-record signing Georginio Rutter and another January arrival, USA midfielder Weston McKennie, are hoping to make their first league starts.

“I think it’s every coach’s dream,” Skubala said of his pending role at Old Trafford. “I’ll be up for this as much as the other players and coaching staff. It’s very exciting. We have a good staff team. We have 24 hours. We have one session this afternoon that we’ve prepared. I think there may be a few little tweaks and differences, but we have to make sure players understand the game plan. We can’t be passive, but we need to be pragmatic.”



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