Report: Leeds have noted Ranieri's availability amid Heckingbottom speculation

Leeds Manager Paul Heckingbottom looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on April 13, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Claudio Ranieri is on the market after leaving Ligue 1 side Nantes, but is he an option for Championship giants Leeds United?

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani looks on before the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Leeds United at iPro Stadium on February 21, 2018 in Derby, England.

After handing Thomas Christiansen his P45 back in February, Leeds United’s owner Andrea Radrizzani admitted that he had considered a former Premier League winner to take over at Elland Road.

“We needed to have a coach with personality,” Radrizzani told Sky Sports.

“For a moment I thought maybe I want someone with more experience, more seasons behind him, someone like a [Claudio] Ranieri kind of manager, but he's obviously busy in France.”

Nantes' Italian head coach Claudio Ranieri attends the French L1 football match between Nantes and Saint-Etienne at The La Beaujoire Stadium in Nantes, western France, on April 1, 2018.

Not any more, however. Ranieri, who led Leicester City to that remarkable title triumph in 2016, has left Ligue 1 side Nantes after just one season, leading the club to a ninth-placed finish after flirting with European contention for much of the campaign.

But could Ranieri’s sudden availability turn Radrizzani’s head with the man he hired instead, Paul Heckingbottom, under huge pressure from the Leeds support?

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, very little has been said about Heckingbottom’s future since speculation emerged around two months ago that his job could be on the line, and it has been ‘noted’ at Elland Road that Ranieri is now on the market.

Paul Heckingbottom Leeds manager gestures during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Leeds United at iPro Stadium on February 21, 2018 in Derby, England.

Heckingbottom won just four of 12 Championship games last season as a Leeds side who started the campaign as genuine promotion candidates eventually finished in the bottom half.

So it will be interesting to see whether he could find his place under threat, with Leeds seemingly keeping a close eye on Ranieri’s situation.

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