Leeds United rivals dealt head coach search blow as leading candidate 'set for Man United move'

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Burnley are the last Championship club without a head coach as the start of the new season approaches

Leeds United rivals Burnley could now be set to miss out on securing Ruud van Nistelrooy to become their next manager. Reports last week suggested a deal that would see van Nistelrooy pick up the reins at Turf Moor was close to being agreed upon with Burnley being impressed by the Dutchman.

As such, it seemed Burnley's search to replace Vincent Kompany was about to come to an end with the start of pre-season approaching quickly on the horizon. However, there has been a twist in the tale with Fabrizio Romano and Dutch outlet AD now reporting that van Nistelrooy could be about to join up with his former club Manchester United.

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The Red Devils have put their trust in Erik ten Hag heading into the new season and it seems as though van Nistelrooy could join his coaching ranks as his assistant. He is said to be keen on a return to Old Trafford and with a deal 'advancing quickly', it seems the 47-year-old could be about to snub the chance to take over at Burnley.

Such a decision would leave the Clarets considering other options with several names still in the frame to take charge of the Lancashire outfit. Craig Bellamy is now considered to be the bookmakers’ favourite for the job despite his lack of head coach experience.

The Welshman is currently the acting head coach at Burnley having spent two years working as an assistant under Vincent Kompany at the club. He has never managed at a senior level but he does have support for the role, while he is also being strongly linked with the vacant Wales job following Rob Page's exit.

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Scott Parker and Carlos Corberan are marginally behind Bellamy in the odds list with the former out of work, while the latter remains in charge of West Bromwich Albion. The Baggies will be keen to keep hold of the Spaniard, who spent time working under Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds earlier in his career, but the van Nistelrooy news may provoke concern at The Hawthorns.

With Regis Le Bris being appointed at Sunderland, Burnley are now the only second tier side without a manager in place for the new campaign.

On the proposition of Bellamy filling the Turf Moor hot seat on a full-time basis, pundit Carlton Palmer told Football League World: "It's an interesting one with Craig for me, because I am surprised that he didn't go with Vincent Kompany to Bayern Munich, having worked with Kompany for a long time and he has been his trusted right-hand man.

"He looked at the Burnley job and has been interviewed. He knows the DNA of the football club and has been working under Vincent so you would have thought he would be a front-runner for the job there".

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Regarding the van Nistelrooy news, Palmer added: "I think that would be fantastic. Ruud going in and working under ten Hag will give you a natural progression later on for van Nistelrooy to manage his former club".