Andoni Iraola has spoken of his desire to one day manage in the Premier League after Leeds United’s failed approach back in February.

The Rayo Vallecano boss was speaking in an interview with Sky Sports where he opened up on why a potential switch to Leeds never materialised.

Iraola was one of several managers on the Whites’ shortlist following the sacking of Jesse Marsch, with the 40-year-old thought to be one of Leeds’ top targets.

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Reports indicated that Iraola actually told Vallecano of his desire to leave for West Yorkshire but instead went onto sign a new one-year-deal.

Iraola leaves door open to Premier League switch after Leeds interest

Iraola’s stock has continued to rise in his three years as Vallecano boss, guiding them to promotion back to La Liga in his first season at the club.

They are now on course to secure a second consecutive comfortable mid-table finish on a shoestring budget, and have beaten both Real Madrid and Barcelona this season.

Iraola believes the Premier League is currently the ‘top league’ in world football due to the finances across the division and is hopeful he will get the chance to manage in England during his career after Leeds’ failed approach.

“You cannot think in things that could have happened. It was what it was.

“I think it was a very open decision. We talked to the club, and Leeds were also very open with Rayo Vallecano. We talked for one day, ‘OK, it’s not the moment, it’s over.’ It is nothing more than that.

“I am very pleased that they thought of me as an option, but I am also very happy here working for Rayo Vallecano. I hope they finish the season well, but right now we are doing well, so we are not thinking too much about that.

“I think that, right now, the Premier League is probably the top league, because in the end it’s about budget, about money, and right now they are by far the richest league.

Rayo Vallecano v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander
Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

“But I don’t know if later I will have the chance I want [to manage there].”

If Leeds remain in the Premier League, it is unclear whether they would return for Iraola this summer given the driving force behind the February approach Victor Orta is no longer at the club.

That said, Iraola’s brand of football is similar to that of Leeds icon Marcelo Bielsa and so there is no doubt supporters would be open to seeing him in the Elland Road dugout.

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