Exclusive: Leeds set sights on Rangers boss Gerrard for second time

Leeds United are keeping tabs on Steven Gerrard as a prime contender to replace Marcelo Bielsa and would have tried to land him in the summer if their manager had quit, Football Insider can reveal.

Bielsa’s future was in doubt at the end of last season after Leeds’ promotion bid failed at the play-off semi-final stage following their third place Championship finish.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the club had started the process of assessing alternatives in case the single-minded Argentine had walked out after one year.

Gerrard was their top target after making a sound impression during his first season in management at Ibrox, where he began restoring the fortunes of the Scottish giants.

He has subsequently taken Rangers to the top of the Scottish Premiership table and overseen their path to the Europa League group stages for the second consecutive season.

Bielsa committed to a second campaign at Leeds following late-May talks with the Leeds hierarchy that ended in them activating a 12-month extension clause in his contract.

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But the club fully expect him to leave should United fail to get promoted this season.

Leeds will continue to monitor Gerrard, the Liverpool icon and former England great, as a prime contender to replace him.

United went into the international break well placed to challenge for automatic promotion at fifth in the table and just two points behind leaders Swansea City.

But their strong start to the campaign, that left many hailing them as automatic promotion favourites, has been halted by two consecutive away defeats.

Gerrard signed a four-year contract when he was appointed by Rangers in May of last year.

In other Leeds United news, a £120K-a-week Premier League star is willing to take pay cut to move to Elland Road.