Leeds United are still searching for their next permanent manager to take over the challenging role at Elland Road, and a new update has emerged on the club’s progress in that regard.

What’s the latest on the Leeds manager search?

According to Football Insider, the Whites have reignited their interest in talks with Rayo Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola.

As per the report, despite the club confirming Michael Skubala as the interim coach who will take charge in the short-term, Victor Orta is still working behind the scenes to find Jesse Marsch’s successor, also looking at potential short-term solutions should the caretaker fail to provide results in forthcoming fixtures.

It is claimed that discussions have continued with Iraola regarding the long-term role at Elland Road, with the 40-year-old set to be out of contract with his current club in the summer.

Could Iraola be Leeds’ very own Arteta?

There is no doubt that Leeds have found themselves in a precarious position in the Premier League, with a relegation battle looming over Elland Road as the weeks progress.

The Whites are currently teetering on the edge of the relegation zone in 17th place, just one point clear of their next opponents Everton, with a visit to Goodison Park scheduled for Saturday. That must-win clash could be monumental in Leeds’ survival chances ahead of another showdown against a relegation rival in Southampton the following week.

Skubala will likely have the responsibility to lead the team for both of those games, and should the results go his way, it could see the former youth coach retain the role for longer. It would likely take the pressure off Andrea Radrizzani and Orta to find an instant replacement, allowing them scope to work on longer-term candidates.

If the Leeds hierarchy have the opportunity to wait for Iraola, they could potentially land their very own Mikel Arteta, with the pair sharing many commonalities.

Indeed, the former – who was dubbed “smart” by former playing team-mate Andrea Pirlo – has a way to go in his career to reach the levels that the Arsenal manager has at this point. However, if he could get his foot in the door of the Premier League with a move to Elland Road, there is no reason why he couldn’t follow in the footsteps of his compatriot.

Both Iraola and Arteta are the same age and are former high-level Spanish players who have turned to management at the end of their careers. In fact, the pair have previously played together at their boyhood club Antiguoko, growing up in a similar area of Spain and polishing their skills together as young prospects.

Furthermore, Iraola would be taking a top-flight role as a very young manager at just 40 with a point to prove and little experience under his belt, just like Arteta did when he was given the job at the Emirates Stadium with only an assistant manager role at Manchester City on his CV.

A move to Elland Road would be a massive step up from his experience with Rayo Vallecano, CD Mirandes and AEK Larnaca, although it could be the perfect opportunity to really make his name in football management, and the Leeds gig would surely be a tempting prospect for Iraola.

The future remains unclear for Leeds, but if Skubala picks up the crucial points needed against Everton and Southampton, it could completely change their trajectory once again, so every moment counts for the club in these remaining months of the season.


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