Leeds set to sack Gracia and in talks with Allardyce

Sam Allardyce on the touchline
Sam Allardyce was England manager for 67 days and only one match

Leeds United are set to sack manager Javi Gracia and are in talks to appoint former England boss Sam Allardyce.

Director of football Victor Orta has left by mutual consent.

Leeds are 17th in the Premier League, above the relegation zone only on goal difference, with four games left this season

Gracia, appointed in February as Jesse Marsch’s successor, has won only three of 11 league games in charge.

Leeds have lost four of their past five matches and face leaders Manchester City on Saturday.

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Spaniard Gracia joined Leeds on a “flexible contract”, but the board is considering bringing in former Bolton, West Ham and Everton manager Allardyce.

The 68-year-old has been out of work since the end of the 2020-21 season when his West Brom side were relegated from the Premier League, the first top-flight relegation of his career.

Allardyce worked with Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear at West Ham and would become the fourth Leeds manager this season, with Michael Skubala acting as interim head coach before Gracia’s appointment.

Gracia will be the record-extending 15th managerial departure in the Premier League this season.

Leeds face arguably the toughest end to the season of the clubs battling relegation, with City and Newcastle up next before a visit to West Ham and then Tottenham at Elland Road to end the campaign.

They conceded 23 goals in April – a Premier League record for a single month and the most by any top-flight side since Birmingham lso let in 23 in April 1965.

After Sunday’s 4-1 defeat by Bournemouth, the Leeds United Supporters Advisory Board issued a statement of no confidence in the club’s management.

‘It is time to change direction’

Victor Orta
Victor Orta was Leeds director of football for six years

Spaniard Orta, appointed by Leeds owner and chairman Andrea Radrizzani in 2017, was responsible for the hiring of former head coach Marcelo Bielsa, who led them to promotion to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.

Orta also brought in Marsch after Bielsa’s sacking in February 2022 but, while the American kept Leeds in the top flight last season on the final day of the campaign, he was sacked in February.

Orta left because he and the board did not agree on Gracia’s position.

Radrizzani said: “I am deeply saddened by the way that this chapter closes as Victor has been responsible for some of the best moments of my time as owner of Leeds United and I thank him and his people for all they have done in the past six years.

“However, it is clear that it is time to change direction and therefore we have agreed that Victor will leave the club.

“I understand supporters are hurt and upset, but now is a time for unity.

“We have four cup finals left to play this season and working together, I believe we can survive.”

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