Jesse Marsch responds to Chelsea interest in sporting director Victor Orta

Marsch is confident Orta will stay put
Marsch is confident Orta will stay put / Charlie Crowhurst/GettyImages

Jesse Marsch has addressed the speculation linking Leeds United's sporting director Victor Orta with Chelsea, admitting he isn't surprised by the links as the Blues' search for the right candidate.

Chelsea's search for a sporting director has been public knowledge for some time now. They recently came close to appointing Christoph Freund, who then opted to stay put at Red Bull Salzburg.

90min understands Sevilla's Monchi is admired greatly by co-owner Todd Boehly, although it is unclear whether he would leave the club for a second time. Sources also confirmed that there is genuine interest in Leeds' Orta, as well as other candidates.

Speaking to the press ahead of their return to Premier League action against Aston Villa on Sunday, Marsch gave his thoughts on the links: "We (Marsch, Orta and CEO Angus Kinnear) went to Iberica, which I thought was a perfect place for Victor to tell us that he was leaving like a final dinner, but fortunately that was not the case. But we talked very openly about it.

"It was a little bit of a funny conversation because one of the things between Victor and I, I basically made him promise that he was going to stay with me if I came here, before I came.

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

But he finished by adding that he was 'hopeful' Orta - who has been at Leeds since 2017 - will stay.