Jesse Marsch hopes Victor Orta feels as strongly tied to Leeds United as he is amidst Chelsea interest

Jesse Marsch says he would not leave Leeds United for any job in the world and he hopes Victor Orta feels the same, despite Chelsea’s interest in making him their new sporting director.

Marsch has often spoken about how much he enjoys his working relationship with Orta, who persuaded him to join in February, chairman/owner Andrea Radrizzani and chief executive Angus Kinnear.

That team is now threatened by Chelsea and Marsch is realistic enough to accept Orta must do what is best for him and his family, but hopes the Spaniard’s own emotional ties to Elland Road hold sway.

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"I'm not surprised that he's been linked to some to some big jobs," said Marsch, when asked about the speculation. "I can unequivocally say he is very happy here and I'm hopeful he stays because of the relationship I have with him and the expertise and hard work he puts in to building this club.

KEY FIGURE: But Leeds United director of football Victor Orta is reportedly attracting Chelsea interestKEY FIGURE: But Leeds United director of football Victor Orta is reportedly attracting Chelsea interest
KEY FIGURE: But Leeds United director of football Victor Orta is reportedly attracting Chelsea interest

"But it's the same for everybody in this businesses. People have opportunities, we have contractual obligations and people have to think about what's best in their personal and professional lives and what opportunities there are, then everyone has to find ways to move forward in their best interests."

The highly-regarded Marina Granovskaia had effectively been Chelsea’s director of football before Todd Boehley bought the club ib the spring and cleared out Roman Abramovich’s lieutenants. The American took the job on an interim basis in the last transfer window, and was widely seen as being found wanting.

Marsch did not hide the fact he has talked to Orta about his future.

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"Angus, Victor and I had a dinner planned, which we do every six weeks, we went to Iberica (a restaraunt in Leeds) which I thought was a perfect place for Victor to tell us that he was leaving but fortunately, that was not the case," he said.

"We talked very openly about it and I I told him I basically made him promise that he was going to stay with me if I came here.

"But I said if you get an opportunity to go to a place like Chelsea with your family situation, I understand you have to consider it. In the end he has to make a decision for what's best for his him and his family.

"But I know how much he loves Leeds United, how much he loves working with me and with Angus and what we do here with Andrea. I'm hopeful and that he will stay."

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Orta, who joined from Middlesbrough in 2017, oversaw a summer squad revamp which turned it from one designed for previous coach Marcelo Bielsa to one with Marsch's fingerprints all over it. Marsch's former players Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Rasmus Kristensen were amongst the signings.

It only added to Marsch's feeling that, as Orta told him earlier in the year, this was the right club for him.

"If I got an offer to go anywhere in the world right now to coach football, I wouldn't leave the spot," insisted Marsch. "I'm more happy in my career than I've ever been and I'm very thankful to be here.

"The league speaks for itself, but my motivation to coming to Leeds had nothing to do with the Prem. Obviously, it's the biggest league in the world, maybe in any sport but it had so much more to do with what I thought the connections, the energies and the symmetries were with how we think and work. It's proved to be even better than I had hoped.

"Even in a relegation (battle) last year, the unity and belief and commitment from every single person to try to be together and to achieve all of our goals was the highest I've ever seen."