Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan has revealed Arne Slot told him he wanted to move to Leeds United in February.
Van der Kraan was speaking in an interview with talkSPORT, where he also claimed Slot had major confidence in his abilities to be able to keep Leeds in the Premier League with an attractive brand of football.
Slot was one of several manager Leeds tried and failed to bring to Elland Road earlier this year following the sacking of Jesse Marsch.
The likes of Andoni Iraola and Carlos Corberan also featured on the Whites’ list, but due to the period in the season, were unable to land any of their top targets.
Slot has since gone onto lead Feyenoord to just their second league title since the turn of the century with an attractive style that has won him plaudits from across Europe.
Slot wanted Leeds move but Feyenoord said no
According to van der Kraan, Leeds were willing to pay Feyenoord between £5 and £6 million to appoint Slot, but the Dutch side held firm in their stance he could not depart.
Slot is said to have been confident he could’ve transformed Leeds’ fortunes on the pitch and his arrival would’ve been a huge boost to supporters after the frustrations of Marsch.
Now it appears as though Slot features highly on Daniel Levy’s list of targets in their search for a new manager, with the 44-year-old having been likened to Pep Guardiola.
He said: “For Arne, the Premier League has always been a major attraction.
“He told me in February when Leeds United came for him, he said, ‘look Marc, I think I could do something there, I think I could keep them up and give them a different playing style.’
“He wanted to go but Feyenoord refused to let him go, Leeds offered £5-6m to Feyenoord and the club said no.
“He has a clause only next year in his contract which would allow him to leave and that makes it a little bit difficult if Tottenham Hotspur fork out a multi, multi million pound fee for a coach who has never proven himself in the Premier League.
“It’s a risk but this man is in demand, he’s brought the best style of football I’ve ever seen in 40 years at the club. He’s almost a copy of Pep Guardiola style and that’s what the people love.”
The news that Slot was keen to come to Leeds makes the last few months all the more frustrating, as his quality could’ve helped see us over the line.
Even if Leeds are to stay in the Premier League this season, they will face enormous competition for his signature should they wish to pursue him again.
Despite the best efforts of the board, it looks like another opportunity missed.