Football News

Bielsa signs new Leeds deal despite La Liga and Serie A rumours

By Chris Smith

Published: 16:46, 28 May 2019

Leeds United have confirmed Marcelo Bielsa has signed a contract extension until 2020.

Bielsa initially signed a two-year deal last summer but with a clause inserted that allowed him and the club to part ways at the end of his first season.

Bielsa ready to go again: Five key things to know…

  1. Bielsa arrived at Elland Road last summer on a two-year deal.
  2. But that deal had a clause which allowed the second year to be nullified.
  3. The Argentine took Leeds to the Championship play-off semi-final before losing to Derby County.
  4. Uncertainty over his future sparked rumours linking him to Celta Vigo and AS Roma.
  5. But Bielsa has now taken up his option to remain with Leeds United for another year.

However, despite a heartbreaking defeat to Derby County in the Championship play-off semi-finals, the Argentine will remain at Elland Road for another year, thanks to the style and substance he brought to an unfancied Leeds squad.

A club statement issued on Tuesday read: “Leeds United are delighted to confirm that chairman Andrea Radrizzani has officially exercised the option to extend Marcelo Bielsa’s contract for a second season.

“Marcelo has met with the board of directors on a number of occasions over the past few days and has confirmed his intention to continue on in his role of head coach.

“Bielsa penned a two-year deal with the Whites in June 2018 with the club maintaining the right to extend or terminate the deal at the end of year one.

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“During Marcelo’s debut season in English football, the team amassed a total of 83 points – the highest points total since promotion from League One during the 2009-10 season, playing an attractive brand of football which has helped Bielsa to become a popular figure amongst supporters.

“Vamos Leeds Carajo.”

Bielsa resists Serie A and La Liga links

The news of Bielsa’s contract extension with the Yorkshire side also comes at a time when the 63-year-old was being linked with Italian giants AS Roma, as well as Celta Vigo in La Liga.

Following a poor performance in the Coppa Italia – where Roma were beaten 7-1 by Fiorentina – and a round-of-16 Champions League exit to Porto, Eusebio Di Francesco was relieved of his duties at the Stadio Olimpico, even with the club sat fifth in Serie A.

Claudio Ranieri returned to the club in March to steady the ship but was unable to deliver Champions League football for next season, finishing sixth.

Things finished even worse for Celta Vigo in La Liga, with the club languishing in 17th, just above the relegation spots and exiting the Copa del Rey in the round-of-32 stage. Fran Escriba became the club’s third coach of the season in March and managed just four wins from 12 games.

For Leeds to tie Bielsa down amid such tempting job prospects is a big statement of intent regarding the club’s aims to secure Premier League promotion next season.