Since Garry Monk walked out on Leeds United, with him and owner Andrea Radrizzani not being in agreement about Leeds United’s aims and direction, it’s been full steam ahead on the manager hunt front for the Whites.
Or so you’d think. With other sides filling their vacant positions with relative ease, Leeds United have gotten to the stage of ‘compiling a shortlist’ which the club intend to recruit from. One of the names said to be on that list of four is current Reading manager Jaap Stam.
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Leeds are said to have been impressed by Dutchman Stam’s attitude, and aptitude, in steering Reading to a play-off place and losing Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley. It was, of course, a final the Royals lost on penalties, with opponents Huddersfield Town promoted to the Premier League.
Leeds may well covet Stam, but that does not mean that the Whites will get their man. The Reading Chronicle say that Berkshire-based club are ready to offer Stam an extended deal, his current one having a year left to run. The Chronicle say that Stam is: “set to sit down the Royals board to discuss his future when he returns from a family break.”
Further complications may rest with news coming out of Holland through Dutch media publication Voetbal International (VI) and the words therein of Stam’s agent Henk Timmer. Timmer’s assessment of where Stam stands effectively puts out any flames that may be building around Leeds United’s supposed ‘interest’ in his 44-year-old client.
Timmer says to VI that Stam is aware of interest in his services, yet remains impassive in the face of it. On this interest, Timmer states: “There is a lot of interest in Jaap, from English clubs and elsewhere in Europe. But he is loyal to Reading, the club has given him his chance in English football.”
But perhaps the sting in the tail for Leeds United is a hint from Timmer that the Whites aren’t a big enough name to attract him. Stam’s agent hints at this saying: “If a big club in the Premier League knocks it might be a different story,” adding that Reading themselves understand this eventuality should it transpire.