Marcelo Bielsa is close to returning to management as he is set to become the head coach of the Uruguay national football team.

As per the reliable Argentine journalist Cesar Merlo, the 67-year-old is a step closer to taking over the South American side which had a disappointing World Cup in Qatar as they failed to get through the group stages.

It is believed that the negotiations are at the final stages, with Bielsa set to take charge till the end of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. Should Uruguay qualify, Bielsa will be handed an extension.

Bielsa turned down Everton

The former Leeds United manager has been out of work since leaving the Yorkshire club last February.

Bielsa, however was approached by Everton after they sacked Frank Lampard, but he turned down the Toffees, claiming that the squad was too slow for his style of play.

Bielsa did hold talks with the club officials, though and had offered to work with the Under-21s until the end of the season before stepping up to the first team.

The Merseyside club rejected the idea and named Sean Dyche as manager later. Bielsa was also linked with the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) and Mexico national team jobs in the last few months.

International management experience

The former Leeds manager is no stranger to national management. He was in charge of the Argentina national team from 1998 to 2004.

The Argentine led his country to the Olympic gold in the 2004 Athens games and also finished as runners-up of the Copa America in 2004, narrowly missing out to archrivals Brazil in a penalty shootout.

He also oversaw a successful stint for the Chile national side from 2007 to 2011 during which they captured the world’s attention with dazzling high-press football.

It will be interesting to see how Bielsa fares with the Uruguayan national side who are undergoing a transition. Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, and Diego Godin are all at the end of their careers.

At the same time, new emerging stars Federico Valverde, Darwin Nunez, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Facundo Pellistri are set to be the mainstay of the national side for years to come.

Photo Credit: IMAGO / PA Images