Unai Emery was almost the unanimous choice amongst the Leeds United hierarchy while they considered sacking Jesse Marsch much earlier in the season.
That is according to the Daily Mail, who have detailed the events on another chaotic day inside Elland Road.
Leeds have already confirmed that Victor Orta has left. And the Daily Mail reports that Javi Gracia has also departed the club, with Sam Allardyce set to replace him for the rest of the campaign.
Leeds wanted Unai Emery before Aston Villa appointment
Orta’s departure seemed inevitable. The way the club have navigated the post Marcelo Bielsa era has been so poor. Jesse Marsch was the Argentinian’s replacement. And sticking by him for as long as they did looks set to cost Leeds.
What makes the situation all the more agonising is that it could have been so different. In fact, the Daily Mail reports that Leeds planned to replace Marsch much earlier in the campaign.
Orta wanted the club to stick by the American. But others behind the scenes had other ideas. And it seems that they had already decided their ideal next move.
According to the Daily Mail, the Leeds hierarchy were keen to target Unai Emery. However, they stuck by Marsch for a while longer and Emery ultimately went on to leave Villarreal for the Aston Villa job.
Obviously, what Emery has done at Villa Park has been remarkable. They could be playing in Europe next year. So it would have been a game-changer had Leeds managed to bring the Spaniard in.
But in truth, it is hard to imagine that Emery would have taken the job. He rejected the chance to join Newcastle United last season. And Villa seemed to have a lot more stability than Leeds have done this term.
Leeds fans have already been treated to a number of manager targets turning them down this season. This is why we are on the verge of Sam Allardyce coming in.
So perhaps we can probably not read too much into the fact that Emery was the top target earlier this season.
But that still will not stop us wondering what could have happened had Leeds somehow managed to convinced Emery to take over from Marsch.