By George Overhill

8th Feb, 2023 | 6:40am

Andoni Iraola is now the favourite to become the next Leeds United manager after Carlos Corberan signed a new West Brom contract, Fabrizio Romano reports.

The Baggies boss was reported as a leading contender from as soon as news that Jesse Marsch had been sacked came out on Monday [90min, 6 February], but he committed to staying at the Hawthorns by signing a new contract on Tuesday night.

That narrows the Whites’ shortlist down to three names, with Rayo Vallecano’s Iraola now the top candidate of the three.

Reporting via Twitter in the early hours of Wednesday morning (8 February) Romano wrote: “Leeds United are considering Andoni Iraola as favorite candidate to replace Jesse Marsch. He’s not the only option as it’s 3 men shortlist — but talks are ongoing.

“Rayo Vallecano coach, in Leeds list as Corberán will stay at West Brom.”

And then there were three

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West Brom were never going to let their manager return to Elland Road without a fight considering how important he has been to turning their season around, and they won that fight on Tuesday.

But Iraola is doing similarly impressive work in La Liga by having Rayo Vallecano up in fifth place, and is the more experienced manager.

There is no need to panic right now even as the candidates gradually dwindle, as local reports have suggested Corberan was not at the top of the list anyway [Yorkshire Evening Post, 6 February].

But Leeds United will hope to wrap up proceedings with one of the remaining names in the near future to ensure the transition from Marsch is fairly quick.

Having sacked the American in the wake of the 1-0 Nottingham Forest loss at the weekend (5 February), it would have seemed logical that they had someone lined up in case he didn’t pass the first test after the transfer window.

But clearly that wasn’t the case so the hierarchy are having to work overtime to get a new man in place after starting the process.

A pair of Spaniards in Real Madrid legend Raul and Corberan have been ruled out, so it might be third time lucky if the Whites land Iraola.

In other Leeds United news, click here to see breaking, around-the-clock updates on Leeds’ search for a new manager in our interactive live blog.