Corberan, Gerrard, Bielsa return? Five potential contenders for the Leeds United job

Leeds are on the lookout for a new head coach having parted ways with Jesse Marsch

West Bromwich Albion manager Carlos Corberan has worked wonders at The Hawthorns, turning the Baggies from relegation fodder to Championship playoff contenders. PA
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Leeds United have launched a search for their 13th head coach in less than a decade after parting company with Jesse Marsch following a dreadful run of results.

American Marsch was relieved of his duties on Monday afternoon, 24 hours on from a 1-0 defeat at promoted Nottingham Forest after which disgruntled fans called for his head.

The result left Leeds 17th in the Premier League on 18 points from 20 matches. The Yorkshire club are out of the relegation zone on goal difference only.

Below is a list of five contenders to replace Marsch in the Elland Road dugout.

Carlos Corberan

Corberan is fondly remembered by Leeds supporters for his work under another previous coach, Marcelo Bielsa.

The Spaniard was in charge of the Whites' Under-23s for three years as well as learning his trade under Bielsa.

After leaving Elland Road in 2020, the Spaniard took over at Huddersfield Town and led them to the Championship play-off final in 2021/22, where they lost 1-0 to Forest at Wembley.

An 11-game stint at Greek club Olympiacos preceded a return to English football with second-tier West Bromwich Albion in October 2022.

The 39-year-old has only enhanced his credentials at The Hawthorns, taking the Baggies off the bottom of the Championship to play-off contenders.

Steven Gerrard

The former Liverpool and England midfielder was reportedly in the running to replace Bielsa following the Argentine's dismissal before the club appointed Marsch 12 months ago.

Gerrard, 42, has enjoyed a mixed managerial career so far. His first senior role saw him guide Rangers to an unbeaten season in 2020/21 to clinch a first Scottish league title in 10 years. His second post, at Premier League Aston Villa, was a failure and ended with his sacking in October 2022 after only 11 months in the job.

Rightly regarded as one of the best players of his generation, Gerrard is said to be keen on a swift return to management. But after the left-field appointment of Marsch, the board may be considering a more pragmatic appointment, hiring a coach with proven credentials.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou. PA

Ange Postecoglou

The Australian has worked wonders during his 19 months in Scotland, guiding Celtic to a league-and-cup double in his first season in Scotland. Celtic are currently nine points clear of bitter rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

Postecoglou guided the Australian national team to the 2014 World Cup in Australia as well as the 2015 Asian Cup, where the UAE were dispatched in the semi-finals before the Socceroos went on to beat South Korea in the final after extra time.

He stepped down as national team coach in November 2017 having guided Australia to qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

The 57-year-old had previously been linked with the Brighton & Hove Albion job following Graham Potter's departure last September. It remains to be seen whether Leeds can tempt Postecoglou into abandoning his project at Celtic Park to take up the challenge of helping the club avoid relegation.

Bodo/Glimt manager Kjetil Knutsen. PA

Kjetil Knutsen

Knutsen's star has been on an upwards trajectory since assuming the head coach position at Norwegian club Bodo/Glimt in 2018.

The 54-year-old made history by delivering the club's first league title in 2020 before retaining the Eliteserien the following season.

They also reached the Europa Conference League quarter-finals in 2021/22 and made headlines by beating Jose Mourinho's Roma 6-1 – the heaviest defeat of the Portuguese coach's glittering career.

One drawback could be Knutsen's lack of experience in one of Europe's top leagues.

Marcelo Bielsa

The Argentine is still largely revered by Leeds fans despite his dismissal in February 2022 following a disastrous run of results that slid the team close towards the relegation zone.

The 67-year-old guided the Whites back into the Premier League after 16 years outside the top flight, winning the Championship title in 2020.

His commitment to a fast-paced, relentless press and frantic style won plenty of admirers before fizzling out in the weeks leading up to his sacking.

The former Argentina coach flew to England last month and met with Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri about the vacant manager's job after the Toffees parted ways with Frank Lampard.

Everton ultimately went with Sean Dyche, but Bielsa's popularity among the fans make him an outside contender to return to Elland Road to revive the good times.

Updated: February 07, 2023, 7:50 AM