Former Leeds United midfielder Lee Bowyer has confirmed that messages were 'exchanged' between him and his former club prior to the appointment of Sam Allardyce last month and said that he would 'love' to return to Elland Road one day.
As a player, Bowyer was a firm fans' favourite during a six-and-a-half-year spell in West Yorkshire and moved into management after hanging up his boots, with spells in charge at Charlton Athletic and Birmingham City and has spoken about Leeds' recent managerial switch and how close he came to an emotional return at the club.
"Without going into too much detail, there was a message or two exchanged and the decision from the club was to go with Big Sam because of experience," he told talkSPORT. "Obviously, unfortunately for the football club, that didn't work out. But going forward I like to think that we'd have a conversation at some stage and maybe try and put something together."
Sam Allardyce was parachuted in to replace Javi Gracia at Leeds with just four games of the season remaining and was unable to prevent Leeds from dropping back into the Championship, claiming just one point from the 12 available. Bowyer admitted that it would have been 'difficult' for whoever took over, but he would have relished the challenge, had he been offered the job.
"For sure," he added. "When I went in at Birmingham, I know it's a completely different league, but everyone said that Birmingham were dead and buried when I took over there. So would I have fancied my chances to maybe keep Leeds up? Of course I would. But that's the past, you can't change the past."
Allardyce has now departed and Leeds are again looking for a new head coach, with Bowyer confirming he would be more than up for taking over at his former club.
"For sure, the 46-year-old continued. "Obviously I have a connection with the club and I understand the club and I think that's important for whoever comes in next. I think if I got the call then I'd love to go there and get that club going again and get the fans onside and get the place bouncing again. I would defo jump at the chance for sure.
"I know the Championship now. A few years of management there, I understand it, I watched it all last season. You analyse and see what it takes to get promotion. I believe that if I went in there I believe I would get them promoted again."
While it would appear that chairman Andrea Radrizzani's days could be numbered at Elland Road amid the ongoing speculation of the 49ers Enterprises long-mooted takeover, Bowyer also revealed that the Italian told him that he was a future Whites boss.
"I've spoken to them in the past. I've been to Elland Road many times and had conversations with the owner and we get on really well. He's always said that he likes me, especially when I got promotion with Charlton against all the odds.
"We played against Leeds in the Championship, three, four, five games in and we beat Leeds. He came in and said 'how have you done that, what was your thinking?' I explained certain things and he said 'you're really good and one day you will manage this football club.' Let's just see what happens in the near future."