Leeds United are still searching for their next manager after sacking Jesse Marsch earlier this month, and an update has emerged on a potential target for the role.
What’s the latest on the Leeds manager search?
According to Portuguese news outlet Zero Zero, the Whites have made an approach for Al-Gharafa SC manager Pedro Martins.
As per the report, talks are set to take place with the manager after the Yorkshire club made an informal approach for the 52-year-old, and negotiations are expected to go through his current employers should Leeds advance in their interest.
Would hiring Martins be a big risk for Radrizzani and Leeds?
The Whites have found themselves in a vulnerable position in the Premier League this season and could be facing a difficult relegation scrap if performances don’t improve quickly.
Leeds are currently teetering on the edge of the relegation zone in 17th place, with two crucial bottom-of-the-table clashes ahead of them. First up is a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on Saturday, followed by a visit from Southampton to Elland Road, fixtures which give Leeds two golden opportunities to distance themselves from the bottom three.
It has been confirmed that Michael Skubala will lead the team in their forthcoming fixtures whilst the powers at the club continue their search for a permanent manager, although the interest in Martins could carry a big risk for Andrea Radrizzani.
The 52-year-old – who was hailed as “special” by Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Daniel Podence – is renowned for his time with Olympiacos, where he took charge of 221 games with a points average of 2.13 before he was sacked and replaced with now-West Bromwich Albion manager Carlos Corberan last August.
Indeed, there is an element of risk which comes with appointing any manager at this stage of the season, especially considering the unstable situation in which Leeds find themselves. However, the club have been linked with managers who, unlike Martins, already have Premier League experience under their belt.
Both Nuno Espirito Santo and Steven Gerrard have been linked with the vacant role in West Yorkshire, and although the trio may not be long-term solutions when it comes to a top-flight relegation battle, surely hiring a short-term manager with experience in the league would be advantageous.
Notably, it was around this time last year that Marsch – who like Martins had no Premier League experience beforehand – was brought in to replace Marcelo Bielsa. While the American succeeded in staving off relegation in 2022, he failed to win over much of the Elland Road faithful or prevent the Whites from dipping into trouble again this time around.
With that in mind, hiring Martins could indeed carry a risk of a repeat scenario.
It will be interesting to see how Michael Skubala gets on against Everton this weekend, as victory could take the immediate pressure off the Leeds hierarchy to find an instant solution in the managerial market so that they can focus on appointing the right coach at the right time.
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