Marcelo Bielsa: Leeds United hold further talks with ex-Argentina boss

Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa has been out of football since leaving French side Lille in December 2017

Leeds United have held talks with former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa and hope to appoint a new head coach by the end of the week.

BBC Radio Leeds understands the Championship club have been speaking with the 62-year-old about replacing Paul Heckingbottom.

Former Barnsley boss Heckingbottom was sacked last week after just four wins in 16 games.

Bielsa has previously managed in his native Argentina, Spain and France.

He was also in charge of Chile's national team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

'Forget the Premier League, you'd want to watch the Championship'

BBC Radio Leeds' Leeds United commentator Adam Pope:

"More talks have been held between United and the former Argentina and Chile boss in the last 24 hours. There appears to be serious intent from both parties to make this happen since I learnt that United's managing director Angus Kinnear was in South America a fortnight ago as part of the discussions.

"Bielsa remains the prime candidate and the focus is concentrated on bringing the 62-year-old to Elland Road while transfer activity continues simultaneously. However, he is one of a few targets and as it stands no contract has been signed so the proverbial chickens remain uncounted.

"There will need to be assurances satisfied for Bielsa, who will have to compile a backroom staff, sort work permits and feel comfortable working with Victor Orta as United's director of football.

"The big question is do United have the squad to play his high octane and high pressing style in what is often a 3-3-1-3 formation? If not, is the cash injection of around £10m for squad strengthening from the San Francisco 49ers' investment enough to create a side in his image?

"There's no doubt that the prospect of 'El Loco' arriving at Elland Road has captured the imagination of a lot of supporters."

Jonathan Northcroft football correspondent for Sunday Times told BBC Radio 5 live:

"It would be one of the strangest, weirdest mixes. How his style would work across a 46-game Championship season I don't know but it would be fantastic to see.

"Forget the Premier League in that case, you'd want to watch the Championship."

Football writer Gabrielle Marcotti said:

"Thomas Tuchel, who has taken over at Paris St-Germain, also plays a high intensity game and he has no problem saying 'I have 18 regular players and I rotate them all the time' so it can be done."