Leeds United will put the ball in Marcelo Bielsa’s court by proposing to extend his contract at Elland Road after their defeat in the Championship play-offs.
Bielsa reacted to Leeds’ semi-final exit last night by saying he would listen to any offer to remain in charge next season but the club are ready to activate a pre-agreed option to extend the 63-year-old’s deal by another 12 months.
Bielsa’s contract would have run on for a second season automatically had Leeds been promoted to the Premier League but the terms negotiated with him last summer gave United and chairman Andrea Radrizzani the right to renew his deal at the end of each season for up to three years.
The two sides, though, also reached a gentleman’s agreement whereby Bielsa would be allowed to leave the club if he was no longer happy to remain as head coach. United are understood to be protected by clauses in the event that Bielsa quits and takes charge of another team.
Leeds want to commit to the former Argentina coach after seeing him take them from a 14th placed finish in the Championship last season to a third-placed finish this month.
The fight for promotion ended at Elland Road last night with a 4-3 aggregate defeat to Derby County, leaving Radrizzani to begin planning for another Championship campaign.
The club have already spoken with Bielsa about fresh changes to their training ground at Thorp Arch and are prepared to make further investments there if he agrees to remain in his post.
Asked about his future at the end of last night’s game, Bielsa said: “As you can imagine, it's not convenient to talk about this right now. This process, you know about it, is that if the club offers me the possibility to carry on I will listen to their proposal.”