'Comfortable' Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa open to staying beyond current contract
Marcelo Bielsa is open to staying at Leeds United beyond his current contract.
The head coach has become a cult figure in his two years at the club. He turned a mid-table Championship side into title contenders in an exciting first season.
Then he finished the job in year two by taking Leeds back into the Premier League for the first time in 16 years.
The club’s highest-ever points tally, the best win percentage of any manager in their history and a thrilling style of football have helped to give him legendary status.
A number of murals of his image appeared in his honour across the city to celebrate his and the club’s achievement.
Now he has hinted at staying at the club into a fourth season, an unprecedented spell at a club for a man known to move on quickly.
It wasn’t until September 10, almost two months after the end of the 2019/20 campaign, that Bielsa confirmed he would be staying at Elland Road to lead the club into the new Premier League season.
There was never any real doubt over his future, but it is now Leeds United tradition for his contract talks to begin only when the season is finished and, thus far, he has agreed single-year extensions on each occasion.
The feeling around Elland Road has been that he would definitely stay to have a crack at the Premier League and would probably have remained for another go at the Championship had last season ended differently, but it was pointless to bank on anything beyond three years - this is now the longest stint he has had with any club in a 30-year managerial career and, at 65 with a family in Argentina, few would blame him for moving on in 2021.
But, speaking at yesterday’s press conference, Bielsa revealed that his insistence on another one-year deal at Elland Road and a willingness to stay beyond next summer were not mutually exclusive.
“I’m very comfortable living and managing in England,” he said.
“Annual contracts does not mean I am not open to staying here longer.”
There seems little chance of a contract extension being agreed until next summer at the earliest and the club have admitted it’s almost futile to try and talk about another season when the head coach is so immersed in the one going on right now.
But those 21 words will be good news for Whites fans who don’t like to think about a post-Bielsa world at Leeds United.