Marcelo Bielsa welcomes Andrea Radrizzani's use of Leicester City as a blueprint for Leeds United

The Whites make the trip to face Leicester City on Sunday.
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Marcelo Bielsa says he is pleased Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani sees Leicester City as a model for the Elland Road club.

The Whites travel to take on the Foxes in the Premier League this afternoon at the King Power stadium.

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Majority owner Radrizzani - who welcomed increased investment from NFL franchise the San Francisco 49ers earlier this week - has spoken at length previously about using Leicester as a blueprint for future success in West Yorkshire.

Leeds United in action against Leicester City. Pic: GettyLeeds United in action against Leicester City. Pic: Getty
Leeds United in action against Leicester City. Pic: Getty

The Foxes earned promotion to the top flight at the end of the 2013/14 season after a 10-year absence and have since become regular top six challengers.

Leicester even shocked the world in 2016 by winning the Premier League title under Claudio Ranieri and earned a place in the Champions League.

They also qualified for this season's Europa League and have progressed into the knockout stages of the tournament.

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City have invested heavily in their scouting network in recent years, often selling players on for profit before replacing them with emerging talent and have just opened up a new £100m training ground complex as the club continues to go from strength to strength.

Bielsa - who guided the Whites back to English football's top division last summer after 16 years away - says he welcomes the plans to following in the footsteps of today's opponents.

"The owner of Leeds is someone who has put the interest of the club ahead of his commercial and financial interests," Bielsa said.

"From what I observe, we can't ignore the commercial outcomes of a Premier League team but the owner of Leeds has invested a lot of money in a lot of things that could have been ignored.

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"In the foundation phase he has made very important changes, in the infrastructure he has made important contributions and those investments are not for the short-term, more for the long term and how you envisage the club to be in the future.

"Leicester City is an example, they have two players per position and you don't make this construction of a team overnight.

"Because a team that's not in the top six is forced to be inventive to be able to achieve this, to form a group to be able to compete with the top teams and to avoid having to sell them because of two circumstances - because that group has made you achieve certain things and because you can sell this player to another club and bring in another player of similar quality, who costs less.

"This interpretation of the way you manage a football club has big benefits if you don't want them overnight. It's a long term process.

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"It's the same process you use to live. If you invest and you want immediate return, it's artificial. To have a solid process you need investment, patience, tolerance and then you can reap the benefits.

"And of course generosity, because the ambition is legitimate but if you put it as a priority, it's a difficulty.

"So to observe a club like Leicester who invested £100m on a new training centre is very interesting. I'm happy that the president of Leeds United sees them as a reference."