Home EFL Championship Leeds United UCL winner reveals why he turned down huge chance to manage Leeds

UCL winner reveals why he turned down huge chance to manage Leeds

Leeds United parted ways with Thomas Christiansen on Sunday but wasted no time appointing a successor, as the Dane was replaced with ex-Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom on Tuesday.

Many managers, including Reading’s Jaap Stam, were linked with the position by bookmakers earlier in the week, but the Dutch has since denied ever been in touch with the Leeds management.

However, he was in running for the post last May after Garry Monk left Elland Road.

Stam had led Reading to an impressive 3rd-place finish and a play-off final appearance, and he was seen as the right man for the job.

The 45-year-old Champions League-winning centre-back however turned down Leeds’ offer, as he was convinced of his side’s new project after the Chinese completed the takeover of Royals.

Stam revealed: “Last season I know they were very interested in getting me in but I made a decision to stay here.

“I still felt there were a lot of nice things to do here with the new owners coming in so that’s why I decided to stay.

“I know from last season their manager went out and a new one was brought in and I was on that list as well but that’s how it goes.”

Reading are a far cry from the side they were last season, with 8 wins in 30 games putting them just 6 points off the relegation places.

Heckingbottom’s former side aren’t doing particularly well either, with just 6 league wins from the relegation-threatened side thus far.

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani claimed the personality and motivation of the 40-year-old were the reasons he was chosen.

The Whites are currently 10th on the log ahead of weekend’s clash against Sheffield United, and fans will hope the new boss can convince them of his true quality by leading the side to a playoff spot for the 2nd time since 2004.