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Mexican Federation reportedly refused to pay Leeds United $10 million to pursue a deal with Marcelo Bielsa

Manager has a release clause in his contract

Atalanta BC v LOSC Lille - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

It appears that Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani and Director of Football Victor Orta weren’t the only ones interested in taking a chance on Marcelo Bielsa.

Reports out of Mexico indicate that Marcelo Bielsa was approached to manage the Mexican National Team, but that between a $10 million dollar release clause from his Leeds contract, and a desire from Bielsa to stay at Leeds, that the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación (Femexfut or FMF for short) will not pursue Bielsa.

Marcelo Bielsa has experience coaching and living in Mexico, as he spent time at Atlas and Club América. He was infamously sacked from América, in part, because of his intolerance for doing media appearances and one-on-one interviews.

Leeds is flying high in the Championship, as they are top of the table on 10 points after four games, and is undefeated in all competitions.

From the Diario Récord the issue seemed to be that the FMF had decided to not pursue a deal with Marcelo Bielsa because of the large release clause put into the contract by Leeds, with the newspaper saying:

Siguen en la búsqueda del estratega para Selección Mexicana. Los nombres siguen llegando al escritorio de la FMF; sin embargo, el perfil del entrenador lo tienen bien definido: buscan un técnico que entrene excelente, que siembre la competitividad y que esté pegado a las últimas tecnologías y avances en técnicas, y demás, dentro del campo.

Y hay otros que por el nombre, abolengo e historia salen a flote, como el caso de Marcelo Bielsa, quien ya fue buscado por los dirigentes encargados e incluso entrevistado, pero debido a sus actitudes y decisiones recientes, como el abandonar al equipo o renunciar para tomar otro club o alguna selección, el técnico argentino fue blindado por su actual institución: Leeds United, con una cláusula de 10 millones de dólares de salida; por si alguien quiere sus servicios, como la Selección Mexicana, tendrá que pagar esa cantidad, luego arreglar sueldo y demás.

Which roughly translates to

The FMF is still searching for a manager for the Mexican National Team. The names keep coming to the FMF desk; however, the profile of the kind of coach they’re looking for is well defined: they want a technician who’s an excellent trainer, who instills competitiveness and is familiar with the latest technologies and advances in techniques, and so on, within the sport.

There are others who by name, pedigree, and history are obvious targets, like Marcelo Bielsa, who was certainly wanted by the FMF’s leaders and even interviewed. However, due to his recent bizarre decisions while coaching -- like leaving a team suddenly, or resigning to take another position out of nowhere -- the Argentine manager was saddled with a release clause of 10 million dollars by his current team, Leeds United. If the Mexican National Team wanted to hire him, they will have to pay that amount, then agree on a salary and so on.

Fox Sports MX also reports that Bielsa is not interested in leaving Leeds anyway, saying,

Por ello, en la actualidad está descartada la opción del técnico argentino con el Tri, donde el propio Bielsa informó que pretende mantener su puesto con el Leeds United y no quiere desprestigiar al equipo británico.

Which more or less says that Bielsa would not want to leave Leeds and leave them in the lurch and “discredit” or besmirch Leeds by leaving them to take up a role with the Mexican National Team.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Rafael Noboa y Riveira for the translation.