As Leeds United search for their next manager, below I run the rule over six potential candidates, realistic and long shots.

It seems the 49ers takeover of Leeds United from Andrea Radrizzani could happen this week and that the manager post will then be filled, this transaction will obviously have significant impact on who will be the next Leeds United Manager.

Lee Bowyer

If the club remains under Radrizzani then Lee Bowyer would be my choice.

As a player, Lee Bowyer was passion personified. He had fire in his belly, wired for blood and thunder battles, a fierce competitor and midfield snarler always snapping at opponents’ heels.

He had an eye for goal, too.

Bowyer was part of the swashbuckling squad managed by David O’Leary during the Peter Ridsdale era, or was it error?

He played for no fewer than six clubs, but there is no doubt Bowyer played his best football for Leeds United. His one England cap was also as a Leeds player. But for his off-field shenanigans he would have played more for the Three Lions.

Bowyer is probably remembered by many for his on-field fisticuffs with Newcastle United team-mate Kieron Dyer. That again can be excused as misdirected passion.

Since hanging up his boots he has had decent managerial spells at former clubs Birmingham and Charlton.

Could another former club be next?

For all his indiscretions, Lee Bowyer remains a popular figure at Leeds United. He would galvanize the players and the fans alike.

Carlos Corberan

His estimation in Leeds United fans’ immediately goes up a few notches because he was Marcelo Bielsa’s right-hand man.

Yet, it would be unfair to conclude that Corberan would be riding to the Leeds United job on Bielsa’s coattails. The Spaniard is a solid coach in his own right having had spells at Olympiacos and Huddersfield, among others.

He is highly rated, so much so that West Brom offered him a new deal barely six months after arriving at the Hawthorns. It’s not a coincidence that the new contract offer was presented at a time Leeds United were looking for a new manager to replace Javi Gracia and were being credited with an interest in Corberan.

Can Corberan be prised away from the Baggies?

The opinion of many is that the departure of Ron Gourlay, the outgoing West Brom chief executive and Corberan’s ally, could be the precursor to the manager’s exit.

Steven Gerrard

A reputation studiously built at Glasgow Rangers, a reputation brutally shredded by a disastrous spell at Aston Villa.

It was on the back of his Rangers exploits that Gerrard landed the Villa job, where he would soon discover the vast chasm in the demands of the Scottish and the English Premier leagues. The Villa job that was supposed to be an audition for and a detour en route to the Anfield hot-seat turned into a nightmare.

Aston Villa owners generously backed Gerrard in the transfer market and obliged his every transfer wish. The manager woefully failed to keep his end of the bargain; Stevie G’s Villa side was nondescript, a team without an identity.

Gerrard’s shortcomings were further accentuated by Unai Emery’s excellent rescue job, the Spaniard taking Villa from to the lowest reaches of the Premier League to a European-place finish.

Although Gerrard did well at Rangers, many feel his managerial career would have been served by cutting his teeth in the rigours of the Championship, where he is likely to land his next job.

Will that be at Leeds United?

I honestly can’t see Gerrard being a popular choice at Elland Road. His appointment would not inspire confidence. He is not the manager the club needs at the minute in my opinion.

Scott Parker

Forget that he holds the unwanted distinction of being the first Premier League manager to be fired this just-ended campaign and that his spell at Club Brugge was just as disastrous, Scott Parker looks a decent fit for the Leeds United job.

In fact, the brief to Parker would be straightforward: do with Leeds United what to did with Bournemouth?

Parker accepted the challenge of guiding the Cherries back into the Premier League following their relegation. And he passed that test with distinction.

Can Parker repeat the Cherries trick with Leeds United.

Graham Potter

Another one out of our league, but for whom the Leeds United job would be an opportunity to make amends after his unceremonious axing by Chelsea.

Potter is more likely to hold out for a job in the Premier League though, determined to confound his detractors and prove that although things didn’t work out at Chelsea, he remains a competent top-flight manager and not a fluke.

Truth be said, there will be no shortage of takers for Potter’s services, because he is a very, very good manager. It will take something special to lure him to Elland Road; owners will have to push the boat out for him, not necessarily in terms of remuneration, but selling him a project worth investing his managerial talents in.

Brendan Rodgers

Saving the best until last. If the sale goes through then I would like to see the 49ers move heaven and earth to capture this man.

Personally, I would say Brendon Rodgers is out of our league. At least we now know he won’t be the next Tottenham manager after Spurs plumped for Ange Postecoglou. But what does that development mean for Leeds United’s prospects?

For all our struggles, the Leeds United manager’s job remains very attractive. It wouldn’t be the significant step down some make it out to be.

Leeds United looking to make an instant return to the Premier League represents an attractive project for an ambitious manager, especially one with a reputation to repair.

Rodgers has a reputation to stitch back together after his dismissal by Leicester City. Leeds United would offer him that perfect opportunity.

I don’t think we have long to wait but let’s hope we select a Manager that is up for the job!


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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