Leeds United have decided to wave farewell to Sam Allardyce after his four-game contract came to an end and with the club deciding to go in a totally different direction next season.
The former England boss was drafted in by the Whites in a desperate last roll of the dice. However, Allardyce, handed a £500,000 deal with a £3m survival bonus, was unable to work any magic.
Indeed, Leeds claimed just one point from the 12 available, suffering relegation from the Premier League with a whimper.
Despite Leeds United’s relegation after three years of Premier League life, Allardyce was largely absolved of blame. Indeed, he inherited a side already stranded in the bottom three and clearly heading only one way.
As a result, there was a school of theory that suggested he could be asked to stay on next season and lead a Leeds promotion push.
However, after discussions with the club – namely chief executive Angus Kinnear with advise from the club’s backroom staff – the club has opted for a change of direction.
As a result, Allardyce has been told that, following talks on Thursday, he will not be asked to stay on. The decision was confirmed by the club on Friday morning.
As a result, The Guardian reports Leeds have drawn up a four-man shortlist to help revive their fortunes.
The popular consensus is that Leeds want to return to a high-energy style that made them so exciting to watch under legendary coach Marcelo Bielsa.
And while they are preparing for life outside the Premier League for the first time since summer 2020, there is a belief at Leeds that they can still attract a high-calibre coach to execute their plan.
Indeed, The Guardian claims Leeds have two recently-sacked Premier League bosses at the very top of their wish list.
To that end, the Whites are reportedly hoping to persuade Brendan Rodgers to take on the role. First reported on May 23, Rodgers won successive Scottish Premiership titles before moving to Leicester and helping them win the FA Cup.
However, he could not halt a surprise slide this season, ultimately losing his job on April 2. His successor Dean Smith was unable to halt their slide, however; the Foxes joining Leeds back in the EFL next season.
Nonetheless, he has the characteristics Leeds are looking for and the 50-year-old reportedly tops the club’s four-man list.
The list of targets also includes Graham Potter, sacked after just seven months in the Chelsea job in April.
Despite the downturn in results at Chelsea, though, he leaves Stamford Bridge with his reputation intact after his stellar work at Brighton. It won’t be long before the 48-year-old finds himself back in work.
Leeds are also reportedly considering former coach Carlos Corberan, who learned his trade under Bielsa. He has since gone on to manage Huddersfield Town, whom he led to the play-off final, Olympiacos and more now West Brom.
Indeed, Leeds did make a move for Corberan upon the removal of Jesse Marsch. However, the move failed after the Baggies quickly tied him down to a long-term deal.
However, his contract at The Hawthorns does contain a £2m release clause which Leeds could consider triggering.
The list is completed by the relative unknown Lorient boss Regis Le Bris.
Steven Gerrard has also been linked with the job, and he could yet come into contention if other options fail.
Whoever takes over at Leeds, though, will do so against the backgroup of major uncertainty.
The club’s current majority owner, Andrea Radrizzani has just completed a takeover at Serie B Sampdoria.
Leeds were due to be taken over this summer by 49ers Enterprises, who won 44% versus Radrizzani’s 56%. However, that agreement was based on the club still being afloat in the Premier League.
It remains to be seen how the situation, though, will play out with Radrizzani upsetting Leeds fans by using the club’s Elland Road stadium as collateral to secure a £26m loan needed to buy Samp.