PARIS: Marseille are hoping to land top Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa before any other top clubs declare their coaching situations vacant writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Bielsa has taken a sabbatical from the game since the end of his contract last year with Spain’s Athletic Bilbao.

Sources close to Marseille indicated on Sunday that an agreement in principle had been reached with lawyers and advisers representing Bielsa.

Marseille president Vincent Labrune said: “This is still subject to drafting the contracts but, basically, we are agreed on a project for the club going forward.”

Bielsa, former coach of Argentina and Chile, Bielsa won his first and only three club trophies in the early 1990s with Newell’s Old Boys of Rosario. He also Bilbao to the final of the Europa League in 2012.

Thd 58-year-old watched Marseille win 3-2 at Montpellier on April 11, accompanied by his Chilean deputy Diego Reyes and former France fullback Manuel Amoros.

Marseille’s sporting director José Anigo said he expected confirmation of an agreement “by the end of this week or next week.”