Leeds United will hold further talks with Marcelo Bielsa this week amid mounting confidence that the 63-year-old is ready to accept an extension of his contract at Elland Road.
Bielsa met with United director of football Victor Orta over the weekend and sources close to the Argentinian have told the YEP that he is poised to agree to a second season in charge of the club.
Italian side Roma were linked with Bielsa over the weekend after their caretaker manager, Claudio Ranieri, confirmed that he would step aside after two months in the post.
Leeds, though, have had positive dialogue with Bielsa since their defeat in the Championship play-off semi-finals and both sides appear increasingly optimistic that an extension to his deal will be finalised before he travels home to Argentina for a summer break.
Bielsa’s contract, which was negotiated over several weeks last summer, gives Leeds the right to extend it by a further 12 months following his first season in charge but the club also struck a gentleman’s agreement allowing the former Argentina and Chile coach to quit if he no longer felt willing to continue in the job.
Talks have already taken place about fresh changes to the club’s Thorp Arch training ground recommended by Bielsa, including more relaxation facilities for his senior squad.
Leeds are confident that they can meet Bielsa’s demands for next season, their 16th successive year in the EFL. Further talks will take place over the course of this week.
Bielsa came close to breaking the club’s Premier League exile at the first attempt but saw Leeds fall to a 4-3 aggregate defeat to Derby in the play-off semi-finals last Wednesday.
United’s squad have gone their separate ways after meeting at Thorp Arch on Thursday morning and will return for the start of pre-season training towards the end of next month.