Ex-Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch reportedly in talks as top candidate for new job in Far East

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Former Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch has been named as top candidate in the running for the vacant South Korea job.

Marsch has been out of work in the coaching world since his Elland Road departure last February, but has taken on several other roles such as punditry gigs with mainstream broadcasters during his break from management.

In recent weeks, though, the American has been linked with a return to the dugout, first as Canada boss and most recently as potential successor to Jürgen Klinsmann in South Korea.

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The former Tottenham Hotspur and West Germany striker departed the KFA (Korea Football Association) under a cloud after ‘failing to demonstrate leadership’ during his spell which came to an end just short of one year in the job back in February.

South Korea are currently top of their World Cup 2026 qualifying group which also includes China, Thailand and Singapore and are expected to progress to the Third Qualifying Round this summer.

Korean outlet Sports Chosun report Marsch is the top candidate for the vacant role.

“Coach Marsch, who recently completed an interview with National Team Strength Enhancement Committee Chairman Jeong Hae-seong in England, is currently talking with the Korea Football Association.

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"Currently, three final candidates have been selected. Coach Marsch is the first priority, and we plan to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible after the final meeting on the 30th,” Sports Chosun report, via a KFA source.

World Cup 2026 will be hosted in the United States, Canada and Mexico, which if hired by the KFA, could see Marsch lead South Korea on the biggest stage in his home nation. The 51-year-old has also worked with national team star Hwang Hee-chan during their time at Red Bull Salzburg while the Wolverhampton Wanderers forward was also previously linked with a move to Elland Road during Marsch’s tenure.

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