By Pranav Shahaney

6th Feb, 2023 | 7:40pm

Phil Hay: Leeds United weigh up approach for Rayo Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola

Leeds United are reportedly weighing up an approach for Rayo Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola as they aim to replace Jesse Marsch.

According to the Athletic journalist Phil Hay [6 February], the Spanish manager has many admirers in the game, but the Whites are the ones keen on making him their next manager.

He’s featured for Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao side at the start of last decade and has built his Vallecano side following the same high-pressing principles of the Argentine.

Right fit?

The 2019/20 season was where Iraola showed the Spanish football fans that he’s one of the best up and coming coaches in the country.

He was sacked after struggling at AEK Larnaca and was given the chance to prove himself at Mirandes and that’s where he showed everyone that he was destined for the big leagues.

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He took a side that was just promoted to the second tier of Spanish football to the semi-finals of the Spanish club, beating teams like Sevilla, Villarreal and Celta Vigo along the way.

Even this season, he’s doing the same with Vallecano and he does seem to be a good fit on paper – someone who can continue playing the same brand of football while also improving the players.

He should not have too many reservations to move from Spain to England as he’ll certainly get more exposure here and the chance to manage one of the biggest clubs historically in the United Kingdom.

Whether or not Leeds take the gamble remains to be seen, but he’s someone who does have the potential of becoming a top manager.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are now preparing to sign a former Barcelona defender in the summer and have already taken decisive steps towards sealing the deal.