Usually over the break between the end of football and the start of the summer transfer window it is player targets that gain the most interest of football fans. Not at Elland Road and Leeds United though where it’s all about the manger.
Or lack of one to be pedantic, because there’s no-one in the hotseat at Leeds at this time – there hasn’t been since Garry Monk decided that his view of the club’s direction and that of owner Andrea Radrizzani was too divergent, Monk tendering his resignation.
Since that time, just over a fortnight ago, it’s been a case of constantly changing favourites and increasingly frantically changing odds as managerial candidate after managerial candidate has swept in, swept by, and then swept away again. From Aitor Karanka, to Claudio Ranieri and via Sinisa Mihajlovic and on to Pep Clotet, there has been almost a ‘favourite’ every few days.
The last one was former Newcastle and Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew, but he has been overtaken by a new name popping out of the hat. That name is Spaniard Víctor Sánchez.
Sanchez has, according to online bookmakers such as Sky Bet, stormed through quite a big field, rushing out to head the betting at relatively short odds of 6/4, replacing Pardew who is at 5/2.
The former Real Madrid player, who once commanded a €7.6 million (£6.6 million) transfer fee when moving from Racing Santander to Deportivo La Coruña in 1999, as last in charge of Spanish side Real Betis. He managed the La Liga side from November 2016 up until May of this year, a span of 27 matches that saw him win just eight games.
Leeds United are said to have whittled down the many to a few with four said to be the number on the Elland Road shortlist. One man said to be on there is current Reading manager Jaap Stam, although his agent has said the Dutchman is going nowhere.
Whether this sudden flight to the front by Víctor Sánchez leans heavily on Ivan Bravo’s knowledge from his time at Real Madrid, or whether it is indicative of a new Leeds direction under Director of Football Victor Orta, no-one knows for sure.
But Leeds United can’t hold out their decision for much longer with the fixture list only 10 days or so away from release.