London (AFP) – Championship title winners Leeds plan to offer Marcelo Bielsa a contract extension after the Argentine ended the club’s 16-year exile from the Premier League.
Leeds are back in the big time for the first time since 2004 thanks to Bielsa’s remarkable impact in just two seasons in charge.
The former Marseille and Lazio boss has secured Leeds’ first trophy since 1992, when they won the old First Division and Charity Shield.
They have games against Derby and Charlton to finish the season, but attention is already switching to their Premier League return.
Securing the inspirational Bielsa’s long-term future is top of the to-do list in the Elland Road boardroom.
Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear told the Yorkshire Evening Post he is due to hold talks with director of football Victor Orta, owner Andrea Radrizzani and Bielsa next week.
“Victor, Andrea and I will be straight in with Marcelo next week, talking about plans for next season, exactly as we did at the start of this season,” Kinnear said.
“He has a review, he knows the direction he wants to take the club in and it’ll go from things we need on the playing side right through to changes he wants to be made at Thorp Arch and the backroom staff.
“Obviously his own personal arrangements as well we need to resolve.”
Bielsa, 64, has rarely stayed long at any club, but Kinnear believes he is happy in west Yorkshire.
“The challenge with Marcelo is that intentions are always a bit of a mystery because he’s always focused on the next game, you’re a brave man to try and distract him from the task of the next match,” he said.
“I think he’s fallen in love with the club, I think he’s committed to it. I actually think he was committed to the Championship.
“We hadn’t had a specific conversation but he’s been very, very focused on what we’ve done with the academy, getting that to Cat One status, he’s hugely focused on developing the younger players.
“If we hadn’t made it, it would probably have been the case that we’d be competing in the Championship with a younger squad and I think that challenge appealed to him.”
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