LONDON: Marcelo Bielsa, one of the most contentious short-term coaches in world football, has been appointed new manager of English second tier club Leeds United.
The club opened talks with the 62-year-old former Argentina and Chile boss after after sacking Paul Heckingbottom on June 1. He is expected in Leeds next weekend aheadof pre-season training.
At club level Bielsa has worked in his native Argentina with Newell’s Old Boys followed by stints with Atlas and America (Mexico), Argentina’s Velez Sarsfield, Spain’s Espanyol, Marseille, Lazio and Lille – who sacked him in December after a a run of three wins in 13 games.
Tottenham manager and former Espanyol player Mauricio Pochettino has called Bielsa, a devotee of high-tension pressing football, as his “football father.”
The appointment is one of the most high-profile ever undertaken by Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani up alongside the arrivals of Brian Clough and Jock Stein in the 1970s.
However Bielsa’s idiosyncratic style of man management and explosive relationships with club managements have restricted his prospects of a high-level appointment and he has had virtually a new club ever year since ending a two-year stint at Bilbao in 2013.
He told the club’s website: “I am delighted to accept the role of head coach at Leeds United. It has always been my ambition to work in England and I have had several opportunities to do so during my career, however I have always felt it was important to wait for the right project to come along and so when a club with Leeds United’s history made me an offer, it was impossible to turn down.”