Leeds United are in talks with former Watford manager Javi Gracia

21 February, 2023

Leeds United have held conversations with former Watford and Valencia head coach Javi Gracia over the possibility of him taking over the vacant managerial position at the club following the sacking of Jesse Marsch a few weeks ago.

The American manager was sacked after an extremely poor run of results that saw Leeds slipping into the relegation battle once again, much like last year. Although their form improved marginally under interim head coach Michael Skubala who even led them to a thrilling and pulsating 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford, consecutive losses to United in the rematch and Everton have left them in the dreaded relegation zone once again.

According to Nextbet the Yorkshire-based club have picked up only 19 points from their 23 matches so far and have just four wins to their name all season. As things stand in the Premier League, they are three points away from safety and need to start mounting a resurgence pretty soon.

According to the Guardian, Gracia is one of the two options being considered by Leeds. Two candidates who they previously wanted – West Brom’s Carlos Corberan and Rayo Vallecano’s Andoni Iraola – proved to be out of reach.

Leeds have also tabled talks with other candidates like former Ajax manager Alfred Schreuder. 

However, nothing positive came out of those discussions as Leeds announced last Tuesday that Skubala would lead the side for the time being and take charge of the team ‘in the upcoming fixtures.’

Just one match later, Leeds found themselves losing to Everton away from home as Seamus Coleman scored the only goal of the game. This saw dropping down to 19th place once again and Leeds have once again, resumed their search for a new manager. On Saturday they play at home to another of their relegation rivals, Southampton.

Gracia, who is being viewed as one of the favourites to take up the job at Elland Road, last managed Al Sadd in Qatar after Xavi left for Barcelona. He won the league with them before being sacked last June. Gracia had managed Watford between January 2018 and September 2019 and had even reached the final of the FA Cup in 2019. He has also previously coached Malaga in Spain and Rubin Kazan in Russia.