By George Overhill

6th Feb, 2023 | 8:10pm

Leeds United considered Jesse Marsch sack earlier this season, have looked at Bodo/Glimt boss Kjetil Knutsen

Leeds United have previously looked at Bodo/Glimt manager Kjetil Knutsen and will consider candidates from abroad to replace Jesse Marsch, i News reports.

The American was sacked on Monday (6 February) after a miserable run of results, having almost lost his job earlier in the season but was saved at the time by favourable analytics.

After a run of no wins in the Premier League since November, and heavy spending in January, that has not born out in points and the move has now been made, potentially putting “over-achieving” Norwegian boss Knutsen in the frame again.

Mark Douglas reported for i News on Monday: “The club are also said to be considering overseas candidates.

“Bodo/Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen – who ranks highly in any analysis of managers “over-achieving” with their resources – is a coach who has been looked at previously.”

Marsch had survived an earlier threat to his job, with Douglas reporting: “i understands the club had considered a change earlier in the season but there was a feeling that the team’s analytics continued to point in the right direction and towards an eventual upturn in form.”

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Dark horse

Knutsen has made a name for himself in Norway, twice winning the Eliteserien title and being named manager of the year three times in a row between 2019 and 2021.

He also oversaw his side’s 6-1 Europa Conference League victory over Jose Mourinho’s Roma last season, becoming the first side to score that many against ‘The Special One’ in his over 1,000 games as a manager [Sky Sports, 22 October 2021].

Given that Marsch has to be deemed to have underachieved at Elland Road a coach who does the opposite would certainly be a boost.

The appointments of Marcelo Bielsa and Marsch himself were both somewhat unexpected so in that context it would perhaps not be a huge surprise if Knutsen was the man to take over.

Carlos Corberan has understandably emerged as a frontrunner, given his links to the club after the Bielsa era and the success he is currently having at West Brom.

He has dragged them out of a major relegation hole into sixth-place, and a play off appearance currently looks likely, so a similar transformation at Leeds United would be exactly what the hierarchy are looking for.

Knutsen knows what it is like to win trophies though, and it seems like a matter of time before he leaves his native Norway so Elland Road might be the one for him, although it would perhaps be a risk of sorts with the stakes so high.

Whoever the board appoint now has to be able to implement a rapid improvement, with only goal difference keeping the Whites out of the drop zone with over half the season gone.

In other Leeds United news, a Tuesday press conference is scheduled where the new manager is due to face the media.