'I hope and believe' - Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani on ongoing contract talks with Marcelo Bielsa
Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani says talks are ongoing with Marcelo Bielsa over a contract extension and he believes the Whites can keep their head coach at Elland Road.
The Argentine has guided Leeds United to 10th place in the Premier League table in their first season since promotion from the Championship, with notable wins over Manchester City, Leicester City and last Monday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool their standout results.
Radrizzani could not be happier with the way Leeds have conducted themselves in their top flight return, on and off the field of play.
"These results make me proud," he told l'Equipe."Beyond the sporting aspect, I am proud of the culture that we have been able to establish in the club, exemplary behavior shown by Marcelo (Bielsa) and the players, among themselves and towards our community of supporters. They are responsible, humble and workers. Plus they offer some of the best-watching football in the Premier League, and therefore of the world."
Radrizzani revealed to French journalist Pierre-Etienne Minonzio that he was due to speak to Bielsa about a new deal after the interview was conducted.
Bielsa traditionally sorts his future at the end of a season and his contract for the 2020/21 campaign was not confirmed until the eve of the season. Speaking months ago he insisted that his preference for one-year contracts did not mean he would rule out staying in Yorkshire for a longer period. He also made clear that if the club required a response before the end of the season, he would give it.
This summer will mark three years since his appointment by Radrizzani and the Italian believes they can extend their working relationship beyond that.
"I hope and believe it is possible," he said.
"We are in discussions. There is a common will to keep going and so far we've always gotten along well. We support Marcelo in his work and I believe be able to say that he is satisfied with his relationship with the club's management. Hopefully we can continue to work together."
Radrizzani has gone on record in the past to make clear the club are making contingency plans in case Bielsa does leave.
He reiterated this week that returning Leeds United to European football is the most important thing for the club.
"Once again, we are very happy with him and we hope to extend him," he said.
"But you also have to understand that Leeds United is bigger than Marcelo Bielsa. If one day, for one for whatever reason, we had to split up with Marcelo, that wouldn't change our goal, which is one day put Leeds back to where they were, so that they can once again play in the champions."