As seen on the SkyBet website, there is a little daylight developing between the ‘top three’ said to be vying for the Leeds United manager job.
A glance at the odds will tell you that the two main favourites, ex-Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka and former Premier League-winning manager Claudio Ranieri, are still in a neck-for-neck race at the head of the pack with odds of 11/10 and 2/1 laid against them respectively.
However, the interesting story that is developing lies a place further back in third with former Danish international Michael Laudrup. Nowhere to be seen in the odds when they initially came out after Garry Monk’s shock resignation from the Elland Road hotseat, Laudrup has suddenly shot into contention.
Steady money must be being put on somewhere as his odds continue to be shaved and pared little by little. Yesterday the former Barcelona and Real Madrid star’s odds were set at 9/1, but today these have shifted to 8/1. Whilst not a shift of seismic proportions, it is a shift that signals movement in the right direction for the former Danish international.
As a player Laudrup sparkled on the world stage, making 491 career appearances for the likes of Juventus, Lazio, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He made 228 La Liga appearances, as well as 162 appearances in Serie A. Amongst his achievements are five La Liga titles, a Champions League crown and he is a Spanish Cup winner, amongst a host of other titles. He also scored 101 career goals, with 50 of these coming in La Liga.
As a manager, he started out in his native Denmark with Superligaen side Brondby in 2002, before taking up the Getafe job. He then moved on to Spartak Moscow for 21 games between September 2008 and April 2009. He then returned to Spanish football with Mallorca, before making his mark in English football with Swansea, managing the Welsh side for 84 games between June 2012 and February 2014.
Currently he is manager of Qatari side Al Rayyan, having managed the Stars League side for 23 matches since taking up the role on September 26 last year. The word on the street is that recently appointed board member Ivan Bravo will have a big say in the appointment of the next Leeds manager. Bravo will likely know of Laudrup and his time at Qatari side Al Rayyan through his role as General Director of the aspire academy for Sports Excellence in Qatar, a position that he has held since 2011.
Whilst still technically an outsider in the betting at odds of 8/1, it will be interesting to see how the Michael Laudrup story plays out as Leeds United continue to plan for Garry Monk’s replacement.