By David Woods

1st Jun, 2018 | 4:20pm

Sky journalist claims four names on Leeds manager shortlist

Leeds United sacked their manager Paul Heckingbottom on Friday lunchtime, and a reliable journalist now claims there are four names on the shortlist to replace him.

Mario Giunta, a Sky reporter in Italy, made the claim on his official Twitter page on Friday afternoon.

He said that Leeds are in contact with Matias Almeyda, Marcelo Bielsa, Steve Bruce and Claudio Ranieri.

He added that Ranieri was the most difficult name on the list and that a decision would be taken in the next 48 hours.

The official news on Heckingbottom came after Football Insider exclusively revealed that he would be sacked on Friday morning.

Football Insider verdict:

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The name on everyone’s lips today has been Bielsa and the Argentine manager is a very short price with bookmakers. However, this is interesting and it opens it out beyond the former Argentina manager. FI sources told us that face-to-face talks have taken place with Bielsa so it appears that this is no certainty. Ranieri is another name that has been linked with the Leeds position recently, but the other two are new. Steve Bruce is a name that everyone will know in the Championship. The promotion expert just failed to get Aston Villa back in the top-flight at the first time of asking, after he lost in the Championship play-off final. He would be a solid, safe pair of hands. Matias Almeyda is another Argentine former player turned manager, although his experience doesn’t extend outside of his country, with stints at River Plate, Banfield and Guadalajara. That would seem to make him unlikely as the official Leeds statement said that the club wanted to replace Heckingbottom with a manager with more experience. That would certainly fit Bielsa, who has managed at the top level for club and country. Ranieri would surely be unlikely?

In other Leeds news, ‘Lazy journalism’ – Leeds fans react as Chris Sutton delivers instant verdict on Heck sacking

In other Leeds news, Lee Sharpe – Leeds must spend big to get back to the Premier League

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