Leeds United: Whites line up new technical director

Victor Orta
Victor Orta
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Middlesbrough chief scout Victor Orta is in the running to become Leeds United’s new technical director, the YEP understands.

Orta is among the candidates being considered to take up the newly-created role at Elland Road as part of the changes planned by new club owner Andrea Radrizzani.

Radrizzani is in the process of creating a new managerial structure having finalised a full takeover of Leeds tonight and the Italian wants to appoint a technical director to work alongside the club’s head coach and oversee United’s footballing operations.

The interest in Orta comes with Leeds increasingly likely to protect themselves in the short term by activating an option to retain Garry Monk as head coach for a further 12 months.

Monk’s initial year-long contract gave Leeds the right to extend his stay to the end of the 2017-18 term but the option expires at the end of this month and the time taken for Radrizzani to complete his buy-out of Massimo Cellino has delayed negotiations about a more substantial deal.

The YEP understand, however, that Monk is reluctant to accept a 12-month extension and wants a longer commitment from Radrizzani. He is also seeking clarity about the size of his budget and the make-up of a management team which could include Orta.

Radrizzani aimed to begin detailed talks with Monk as soon as his buy-out was complete but Leeds would risk losing the 38-year-old for nothing if those discussions run into June.

Orta has been with Middlesbrough for the past 18 months, brought in by former manager Aitor Karanka in December 2015, but he is set to leave the club amid a rethink by Boro chairman Steve Gibson in the aftermath of the club’s relegation from the Premier League.

The Spaniard’s remit at Boro was to manage their European scouting system but Karanka’s sacking in March began a steady cull of his backroom team.

Orta was credited with helping to secure the signings of Alvaro Negredo and Gaston Ramirez but reports on Teesside claim Gibson was unhappy with Boro’s recruitment following their promotion from the Championship last summer.

Orta, however, is seen as a respected figure in European football having worked in Spain for Elche and Sevilla before moving onto Zenit St Petersburg in 2013. He never played professionally but was taken on by Sevilla in 2006 and established a successful recruitment model as the club’s technical director.

Radrizzani has already added a Spanish influence to United’s senior team by naming Ivan Bravo, formerly of Real Madrid and now the head of Qatar’s Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, as a club director.

The 42-year-old Italian instigated another significant change by moving to replace chief executive Ben Mansford with Angus Kinnear, the managing director of West Ham United who is expected to take up a high-level post at Elland Road in the coming days.