Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa more interested in the club than his own needs

David Charlesworth, PA
·2-min read

Marcelo Bielsa sidestepped a question about his future at Leeds beyond the end of the current campaign but the veteran head coach insisted he places the club’s wants and needs above his own.

Bielsa is a revered figure in West Yorkshire after overseeing Leeds’ return to the Premier League but the club’s fans have been unable to savour the achievement fully due to the nationwide ban on supporters attending stadiums.

The Argentinian’s contract is up at the end of the season but when asked whether he would be swayed into signing a new deal in order to properly experience the English top-flight with spectators present, Bielsa was non-committal.

“Always an institution like Leeds are going to be above what I want and what I need,” Bielsa said, ahead of Leeds’ trip to Leicester on Sunday afternoon.

Bielsa was similarly evasive about whether the Foxes are title contenders.

Leicester sit third ahead of Leeds’ visit to the King Power Stadium this weekend and are outside contenders to emulate what they accomplished in 2015/16, when they lifted the title to defy 5,000/1 odds with some bookmakers.

Bielsa, though, was reluctant to confer them as challengers for the crown although he added the caveat that he is favouring nobody else.

“I wouldn’t be able to make a judgement,” he said.

“If you ask me about any team with regards to the title race, I would give you the same opinion.”

However, Bielsa, who confirmed luckless centre-back Diego Llorente faces another three or four weeks on the sidelines after injuring his hamstring in the midweek win at Newcastle, is wary of the threat Leicester pose.

Leeds were thrashed 4-1 when the teams met at Elland Road in November while Brendan Rodgers’ side extended their unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions by coming from behind to draw 1-1 at Everton on Wednesday.

“In the game against Everton they were the protagonists throughout,” Bielsa said. “They had a style where they circulated the ball very quickly and had a very marked offensive style.

“They played to try to attack and position themselves in the opposition’s half.”