Well, it looks like it might finally be over.
A source close to Marcelo Bielsa tells me he intends to sign his contract tonight and will become Leeds United's next head coach. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) June 14, 2018
This will hopefully put an end to two weeks of speculation that started with a report out of Spain that the former Athletic Bilbao manager was set to take up the head coaching role at Leeds. Paul Heckingbottom was sacked on Friday, 1 June, and Leeds fans have been waiting rather impatiently for the appointment of Bielsa.
Despite links to both current Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce and former Chivas de Guadalajara and River Plate manager Matis Almeyda, it sounds like Bielsa was always the first choice to take up the role at Elland Road.
Make no mistake, this is a huge appointment for Leeds. Bielsa is widely regarded as a footballing genius, and for someone of his pedigree to take up a role in the English Championship, even at a sleeping giant like Leeds, is quite extraordinary.
He’s got a reputation as being difficult to work with, as he quit Serie A club Lazio after only two days on the job over a disagreement over management structure and transfer targets. However, as risky an appointment this is for Leeds, it is even riskier for a manager like Bielsa to come to a club like Leeds, where anything short of promotion will be seen as failure.
For now, however, it’s time to celebrate and imagine what it will be like to see Bielsa’s legendary 3-3-1-3 formation in action at Elland Road. Here’s hoping the former Argentina, Chile, Newell’s Old Boys, Atlas, Club América, Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, and Lille manager comes good like he did at Bilbao and it doesn’t end all in tears like it did at Lazio or Lille.