Andoni Iraola has become one of Spain’s top coaches in a relatively short space of time.
After his stint at Second Division side Mirandés, where he took the club to a Copa del Rey semi-final, Iraola made the jump to Rayo Vallecano in the 2020-21 season, where he achieved promotion to Spain’s top flight, a success that would be followed by staying in Primera and getting to a second Copa del Rey semi-final.
This season, Rayo have punched above their weight again. After their La Liga win over Almería on Monday night, the Vallecas outfit moved into fifth place in the La Liga standings.
The latest club to knock on Iraola’s door is Leeds United, who sacked Jesse March this week. Iraola has been on their managerial shortlist of candidates for the job.
Marca report that the Elland Road outfit came with all guns blazing to land Iraola and were willing to pay the termination clause in his contract, which is around €8m.
Iraola, 40, was reportedly attracted by the offer and the idea of coaching in the Premier League, but he did not want to leave Rayo overnight, the club where he has managed to establish himself as a top young coach, and a club he could take into Europe.
Leeds are now believed to be already looking at other options to replace Marsch. Iraola’s contract at Rayo expires on 30 June and options will no doubt once again open up for the former Athletic Club player.
As was the case last season, the coach from Gipuzkoa does not have, as of today, a contract renewal proposal from Rayo on the table. Talks will not begin until the objective of staying up is achieved and then a decision will be made.
Kieran Quaile | GSFN