Leeds United: Aitor Karanka strengthening as favourite to succeed Garry Monk

Aitor Karanka.
Aitor Karanka.
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LEEDS United’s search for a head coach continues – with former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka strengthening as favourite to succeed Garry Monk.

United continued the restructure of their management staff on Tuesday when bringing in Middlesbrough’s former head of recruitment Victor Orta as their new director of football.

Garry Monk.

Garry Monk.

Orta and Karanka worked together for over a year at Middlesbrough and Karanka has been backed into a strong odds-on favourite to follow Orta to Elland Road.

United are keeping their cards close to their chest in a quest for a new head coach, with new Whites chairman Andrea Radrizzani keen to make the right appointment to fulfil his vision for the club.

Radrizzani assumed full control of the Whites last Tuesday after buying out former co-owner Massimo Cellino.

But head coach Monk then resigned from his position two days later, insisting he was unable to agree a suitable way to move forward with Radrizzani who was intent on offering Monk a new three-year deal.

Claudio Ranieri.

Claudio Ranieri.

Monk’s one-year deal was set to expire this summer but Radrizzani had hoped to activate a one-year extension to Monk’s contract before later offering the former Swansea City boss a new deal.

Monk is now being strongly linked with the vacant managerial position at Middlesbrough with some sources suggesting that the 39-year-old will be interviewed for the position this week.

Former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri also remains strongly linked with the Whites’ hot seat despite the out-of- work Italian admitting he knew nothing about United’s interest on Friday.

“I don’t know anything about this Leeds story,” Ranieri said.

“I haven’t spoken to them.”

When asked if he would be interested in the Leeds job, Ranieri said: “I prefer not to speculate.”