Diego Martinez is said to be a front-runner to replace Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United this summer.
That’s according to journalist Pete O’Rourke, who delivered a fresh claim to GIVEMESPORT this week…
Reports emerged earlier this month suggesting that the 41-year-old, who was last in charge of LaLiga outfit Granada, was a key target for director of football Victor Orta.
It’s thought that the Spaniard has already made an approach to Martinez ahead of next season, with Bielsa’s contract due to expire in the summer, as per Super Deporte (via Sport Witness).
Orta and Martinez have previously worked together before at Sevilla, and it’s believed that he is the most likely coach to succeed the Argentine.
“I think Diego Martinez is probably the front-runner for me,” claimed O’Rourke. “He’s out of work. Victor Orta’s got the Spanish connection with Martinez. He plays an attacking, innovative style of football as well.”
Much of the talk in recent days has been about former Chelsea and Derby County boss Frank Lampard but given ‘spy-gate‘ and the angst that his appointment would cause amongst the Elland Road faithful, it would be wise to get behind Martinez instead.
The fact that he plays “attacking” and “innovative” football is certainly a positive, particularly as he will be able to instantly pick up the pieces post-Bielsa.
Another benefit to appointing the Spaniard would be his familiarity and history with Orta, clearly – if the Whites supremo wants him – then they have kept a good relationship going and that will help the club when it comes to transfers and other club decisions.
Martinez enjoyed quite a bit of success with the Nazaries, winning the Segunda division before guiding them into the Europa League, where they put up a fight against Premier League giants and eventual finalists Manchester United in the quarter-finals last season.
Utilising his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, a system that would be seamless with this current Leeds squad, the 41-year-old coach won 47.3% of his matches in charge of Granada, which is pretty respectable.
Leeds, who have also gone up from the second tier into the top-flight in recent seasons, have won 49% of matches with Bielsa in the dugout, so there isn’t much to split the two.
On the above evidence, many around west Yorkshire could be delighted with O’Rourke’s claim. After all, they will have to accept that the 66-year-old will not be around forever and there is plenty to like about Martinez and his potential fit at the club.