Leeds United's Graham Potter situation and Old Firm debate as promotion specialist looks safe bet

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Leeds United’s manager hunt is in its final stages with an appointment expected next week, but movement in the bookies odds has supporters questioning the shortlist.

Graham Potter’s odds have come down, sparking speculation among fans that he might be closing in on the job. Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, was reportedly the subject of an attempted Leeds hijack, as they sought to derail a Celtic return. The YEP reported this morning, however, that Leeds have not met with Rodgers and while he is well liked at Elland Road, the ex-Leicester City boss has not been considered particularly keen on the role or an obtainable target. Daniel Farke and Carlos Corberan are among those Leeds have looked at and both appear to represent a realistic appointment.

Read More
Rodgers hijack claim countered as Leeds move nearer to managerial appointment.

Away from the managerial search, Leeds’ takeover is progressing and supporters are asking what the plan will be and when they will hear it from 49ers Enterprises. And with the domestic transfer window now open, ahead of the foreign market, fans are anticipating big change in terms of comings and goings this summer. There are big players with big question marks over their Leeds future and players with big futures for whom a big effort may be needed to retain their services ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. Tyler Adams and Willy Gnonto are on 49ers Enterprises’ list of players they want to try and keep but both will have offers elsewhere when the transfer window is in full swing. Like Gnonto, Charlie Cresswell is among those heading off to the Under 21 European Championships this summer and after a season on loan at Millwall will have plenty of eyeballs on him.

Those topics and more are covered in today’s Q and A, with 31 subjects tackled with what we know, hear and suspect.

Leeds United Q and A

Key Events

  • Manager hunt narrowing
  • Brendan Rodgers never likely
  • 49ers words and plans

@esstee7 Is [Brendan] Rodgers someone the club is seriously considering and could we actually get him?

Leeds gave him plenty of consideration because he would have been one they would have liked to pitch the project to, but their feeling has always been that he was destined for a Premier League job - perhaps even in the Autumn when one is sure to crop up. The Celtic return has history behind it and also, if you’re realistic, a pathway back to the Premier League. He feels ungettable at this stage. Leeds haven’t met with him and they’re moving on with the hunt.

@georgewlufc Who is the favourite now Rodgers is out. Farke? And would we need permission from West Brom to interview Corberan?

The two names you mentioned are two that have come up consistently since a new manager was first spoken about at the end of the season. You can see the logic behind either appointment and neither would be considered unobtainable by any stretch. Corberan is in employment so Leeds would need an element of co-operation from West Brom but the way these things tend to go, you wouldn’t see it being a huge issue. They might dig their heels in but what’s the point, if a manager wants to leave? Corberan will highly likely fancy it. It’s a terrific job, if a little daunting.

@Billy_Mac98 If Corberan didn’t have one season under Bielsa, do you think the fans would want him? Very underwhelming if we get him in my opinion.

Interesting question. The Marcelo Bielsa link and the time served at the club already do stand him in good stead in the eyes of many, but I think if you look at his Championship record then there’s a serious case for him to be given a chance to lead a genuine crack at promotion. He should never have been able to do what he did with Huddersfield and he led West Brom to a fine finish from a difficult starting position. He has to be considered, at least.

@tommylufc1 Potter has had no links to us this summer but the odds have come down tremendously on betting sites, albeit. Anything in it?

The odds movement is worth noting but I’m told it’s a similar situation to the Rodgers case. He’s a manager Leeds like, they would have considered him but they don’t consider him a realistic target. The drop to the Championship shouldn’t deter every good manager, because if this summer is done right then Leeds should be in with a decent chance of an immediate return, but I think in one or two cases relegation has put them off. The question for managers of a certain calibre is perhaps ‘what if it goes wrong?’ Where next, if you get canned by a Championship club midway through a season or if you fail to get them straight back up?

@martinsuv What’s the time frame to get the manager in? Also do Leeds have players lined up to go for in the transfer window ?

They expect to appoint next week, we’re told. As for players, there are targets they have worked on, lists have been drawn up and agents spoken to by the recruitment team still in place. Victor Orta and close lieutenants have departed but there remains a core of scouts and recruitment staff who have held weekly meetings with Angus Kinnear to talk potential summer targets. The final decisions would need to go through any new manager and, you would think, anyone coming in to head up recruitment. They’ll have their own ideas. These things will presumably have been discussed in interviews, allowing Leeds to begin exploring possibilities for the eventuality of employing various candidates.

@jasonta09987259 Do you think given the 49rs financial clout that they could persuade players like Adams and Gnonto to stay for one season in the Championship and give them back lost wages as a promotion bonus?

It’s possible. Probably more possible in the case of Willy Gnonto than in the case of Tyler Adams. One is more established than the other, although no less coveted. Both will have offers elsewhere and that will test Leeds’ mettle. I expect 49ers Enterprises to make a big play to try and keep both men and probably Max Wober too. It’s not really in their power to stop them if something too-good-to-be-true comes along, though. I would argue the most important thing is to determine the wishes of both players nice and early. What you don’t want is to build a summer recruitment plan around them and then suddenly face losing them late in the window.

@joetmatherton What are we looking at in terms of transfer budget this summer? Is it a case of essentially unlimited funds at Championship level or will it be a more conservative approach?

Unlimited funds - no, I would not imagine so for one second, but I do imagine that the takeover will lead to the possibility of more spending than had the status quo remained the same. The sense we get is that 49ers Enterprises will go after promotion but they won’t be throwing silly money around. As Newcastle United found out, when everyone considers you rich then the prices go up.

@smisles98 Hi Graham, with Robles not being offered a new contract and Meslier having expected interest, do you think Leeds will sign two new goalkeepers this summer? The situation with Klaesson seems strange as wasn’t involved in the squad for most games since January either in the first team or 21s

I expect Illan Meslier to go, so Leeds will need to go and find a number one keeper. I would have thought Joel Robles as a number two was a realistic possibility, but he’s got a decision to make now as to whether he holds out to try and impress in training and win a new deal or accepts the security of a contract offered earlier elsewhere. So there’s a real chance it’s a two-goalkeeper recruitment job this summer. Kris Klaesson probably needs to go and kick-start his career elsewhere because he is yet to convince at Leeds, even with the 21s.

@ianhds09 Jaffa cakes..... A cake or a type of biscuit?

It belongs in the box marked ‘treats’ that sits in our cupboard and empties at a rate you would scarcely believe Ian.

@fawcett_dan Do you honestly think Patrick Bamford has a future with the club? Surely we are at a stage on where we have to look to the future and yet I honestly can’t see anyone taking him off our hands with his current wage, unless the Saudis come calling.

Patrick Bamford is a very good player in the Championship and that’s a wild understatement. Unfortunately he drops into the second tier with a couple of years’ worth of injury baggage and that has to temper expectations. Leeds seem keen to keep a core of their ‘legacy’ players together and that’s wise because you can’t go and sign an entirely fresh 24-man squad in one summer. Bamford, for me, remains an option and a good one to have in the squad because he will score goals, link the play and hold the ball up excellently. What he cannot be, realistically, is the man you pin your hopes on in the number nine position. It’s too big a risk given the struggles he has had with his body.