Buenos Aires Times

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Marcelo Bielsa signs deal with Leeds United to become head coach

Respected Argentine coach signs contract with English Championship side regarded as a sleeping giant. He is due to fly to England on June 23.

Thursday 14 June, 2018
Then-Lille head coach Marcelo Bielsa looks on during a French Ligue 1 match against Saint-Etienne last November.
Then-Lille head coach Marcelo Bielsa looks on during a French Ligue 1 match against Saint-Etienne last November. Foto:Denis Charlet / AFP

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In the last hour, Marcelo Bielsa has signed a contract to become the next head coach of Leeds United.

A source with knowledge of the deal told the Times this evening that the Argentine coach had agreed terms with the Championship side and signed the relevant paperwork. At around 6.45pm tonight, a copy of the document was sent via email to Leeds' technical secretary.

Sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed earlier this week that Leeds and Bielsa’s representatives were working on a two-year deal with a break clause after the first 12 months, which would be activated should Leeds win promotion to the Premier League and reviewed should promotion not be attained. It is understood these both parties have agreed to the terms.

“If Marcelo succeeds in promoting Leeds United to the Premier League, the two-year clause is fulfilled,” a source told the Times earlier this week. “If Leeds do not [win promotion] to the Premier League, then the club has the first refusal [over whether] to extend the contract for another year, completing a two-year term.”

The deal is a statement of power from the Yorkshire club, which is desperate to win promotion back to English football's top flight. 

As reported previously, the deal for Bielsa is financially significant, with Leeds having agreed to pay around four million euros a year to secure the services of the respected Argentine coach. That makes him the most well-paid manager in Leeds United’s history. 

The former Argentina and Chile manager – whose last job was at Lille in France – is believed to be seeking to bring in as many as six back-room staff.

A source told the Times that Bielsa is pencilled in to fly to England on Saturday, June 23, ahead of pre-season training, which could begin as early as two days after that.

Fixtures for the next Championship season, 2018-2019, are due to be announced June 21.

 

 

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