Jaap Stam appears unlikely to take the managerial reins at Leeds United this summer, with agent Henk Timmer insisting that the Dutchman remains "loyal" to current employers Reading and suggesting that only a Premier League move might tempt him away in the short-term.
Having cut his coaching teeth at Ajax, Stam made a real impact during his debut season at the Madejski Stadium after being named as successor to Brian McDermott. With modest investment, the former Manchester United defender led a team to the brink of a return to the top-flight while completely revamping their style of football. The Royals eventually lost out to Huddersfield Town in a play-off final penalty shootout.
Stam's exploits appear to have caught the eye of new Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani, who is seeking to secure a replacement for former boss Garry Monk. The Yorkshire Evening Post reported over the weekend that the 44-year-old's name featured on a shortlist of potential candidates, although such an appointment looks very doubtful.
"There's a lot of interest in Jaap from English clubs and elsewhere in Europe but he is loyal to Reading, the club who gave him his chance in English football," Timmer told Dutch football magazine Voetbal International. "If a big club from the Premier League comes, it might be another story. The club's leadership are realistic but as it stands, Jaap wants to finish his job at Reading."
No doubt already unpopular due to his Old Trafford connections, Stam's links with Leeds came a shock to most supporters due to his well-documented criticism of their style under Monk following a possession-heavy 2-0 defeat at Elland Road in December 2016.
Stam signed a two-year contract upon his arrival in Berkshire and reports suggests that Reading are preparing to offer him improved terms. He has also been mentioned in connection with the senior managerial post at Ajax vacated following Peter Bosz's move to Borussia Dortmund, although current Jong Ajax coach Marcel Keizer is now believed to be the favourite for that role.
Spaniard Victor Sanchez has emerged as another possible candidate to replace Monk, who has already been installed as the new manager of Middlesbrough. Aitor Karanka, Alan Pardew, Quique Sanchez Flores, Claudio Ranieri, Phil Parkinson and current assistant Pep Clotet have also been mooted, although Michael Laudrup has ruled himself out of the running.