Exclusive: Marcelo Bielsa on the verge of agreeing new contract at Leeds

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Marcelo Bielsa on verge of agreeing new contract at Leeds - MICHAEL REGAN /Pool via REUTERS 
Marcelo Bielsa on verge of agreeing new contract at Leeds - MICHAEL REGAN /Pool via REUTERS

Marcelo Bielsa is on the verge of agreeing a new contract at Leeds United, ending fears that the Argentinian could walk away from Elland Road when his current deal expires at the end of the season.

Bielsa’s future has been a constant source of concern for supporters with the popular manager only dealing in one-year contracts since arriving in Yorkshire. The 65-year-old did not put pen to paper on his most recent deal until the days before Leeds’ first game of the season.

But Telegraph Sport understands there is an expectation behind the scenes at Elland Road that Bielsa has decided to stay and remains totally committed to the project he started back in 2018.

Bielsa instinctively does not like being questioned about contracts or his future by the media and prefers everything to remain private, which helps to fuel doubts about his desire to stay.

The former Atletico Bilbao boss is happy and settled in Yorkshire and feels there is still plenty of scope for improvement in a team that has impressed with its attacking style and relentless energy on the club’s return to the Premier League.

The situation has been described by senior sources as “completely relaxed” and there are “no concerns” about him leaving.

Tellingly, Bielsa has been in constant dialogue with the board at Leeds, including owner Andrea Radrizzani and is already planning for next season.

Bielsa has also been described as “a man of honour” who would have told the club if he wanted to step down, as he would not want to leave Radrizzani or director of football Victor Orta in the lurch.

Although nothing has been signed at this stage, the Leeds hierarchy do not anticipate there being any problems agreeing terms when the paperwork is presented to him after the final game of the season.

That will come as a huge relief to supporters who have not only seen Bielsa win promotion back to the Premier League after 16 years but also turn them into one of the most talked about and admired teams in the country.

Speaking last month, Radrizzani said: “I hope to extend it by the end of the season and I think it is possible. We are in discussions.

“There is a common will to continue and so far we have always got along well. We support Marcelo in his work and I think I can say that he is satisfied with his relations with the management of the club. Hopefully, we can continue to work together.”

The first objective for Bielsa was promotion, but having achieved that and comfortably avoided relegation this season, the target now is to establish Leeds as a top 10 Premier League side and, eventually, to challenge for European qualification.

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