By George Overhill

6th Mar, 2023 | 8:01pm

Victor Orta is under pressure at Leeds United thanks to his key role in developments at the club in the past year and will be “vulnerable” in the event of relegation, i News reports.

The sporting director was a leading backer of previous manager Jesse Marsch and there have been “rumblings” of clashes behind the scenes after the American was sacked on 6 February.

With the Whites outside the relegation zone by only goal-difference he is on the hot seat and could leave if the club go down, with changes to the playing squad and in the dug-out largely driven by the Spaniard.

The report from i News said: “Influential director of football Victor Orta finds himself in the crosshairs once more, having played a key role in the machinations of the last 12 months.

“It was his call to turn to Jesse Marsch after [Marcelo] Bielsa and the club’s expensive transfer picks largely coalesce around scouting systems that he has diligently put in place over his six years leading football operations.

“If the club are dragged back into the Championship he is vulnerable and there were rumblings about disagreements over direction when Marsch departed.”

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Orta struck gold with Bielsa but his vision for the club ever since has been hit and miss at best, with back-to-back relegation battles threatening the impending 49ers takeover.

If the club go down then it will undo all of the good work that the legendary Argentinian did, and with Marsch having already paid with his job the man most directly responsible after that will be on extremely thin ice.

It was the playing squad that was left wanting badly during a major injury crisis last season, with Bielsa sacrificed and his American successor only just securing survival on the final day.

In contrast, the transfer dealings since have been plentiful, even if the jury is still out on the success of the incoming players, especially when there was such a strong Marsch tint to the Red Bull-heavy arrivals.

And yet it is the managerial situation that has been the major let-down this year, with the succession from Marsch to Javi Gracia featuring a calamitous fortnight in between which exposed an alarming lack of planning.

It is little surprise to hear that they may have been “disagreements” behind the scenes after the American was sacked, with a scattergun approach to find a replacement repeatedly failing.

If Orta backed Marsch as far as he did and geared the recruitment so heavily to the coach’s past only to then be overruled when he was sacked at an awkward time in the season it would appear to make the Spaniard’s position untenable.

So whether it is Andrea Radrizzani or 49ers Enterprises in charge after this season he could be in trouble.

In other Leeds United news, one star player has increased the chances that a Premier League rival will go after him after what he did recently.

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