Leeds manager news: Meeting held with potential Marcelo Bielsa replacement

Former Roma manager watches his team against Ajax in the Europa League

Leeds United held talks with recently-sacked Roma manager Paulo Fonseca as they planned for Marcelo Bielsa’s potential exit, according to TuttoMercatoWeb

What is the latest on Marcelo Bielsa’s future? 

A report in the print edition of The Sunday Sun (page 63) recently claimed the Argentine was close to agreeing a 12-month rolling contract extension which would see his annual wage rise from £6m to £7m. 

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Indeed, owner Andrea Radrizzani was said to be confident a deal was close, though it’s interesting to hear talks had taken place with Fonseca over a potential move. 

They, along with Crystal Palace, Napoli and Nice are believed to have had meetings with his representatives though the report claims nothing was ‘concrete’. 

Who else had been approached? 

In March, Duncan Castles told The Transfer Window Podcast that former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri had been approached as a potential replacement for Bielsa amid Radrizzani’s attempts to turn the club into the seventh major force of English football. 

While Allegri would clearly have been a higher profile appointment than Fonseca, the club’s plan was clearly to attract a big name manager had Bielsa opted to end his time at Elland Road at the end of the season. 

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What is Fonseca’s managerial style? 

Speaking to The Athletic in December 2020, the Portuguese revealed he had changed his stance over the years.

“I’ve had to adapt my ideas,” he said. 

“In the past I was obsessive about possession.

“I’ve changed now. Keeping the ball as I love to do is not possible in Italy. 

“I’ve come to understand the importance of transitions. I realise how important it is to win the ball and attack fast because all the teams here are defensively well prepared. Finding space is difficult here. If you don’t attack fast they organise very quickly and you don’t have a transition.”

What has Radrizzani said about Bielsa potentially leaving? 

Clearly, Bielsa staying would be the ideal situation for Leeds but Radrizzani has previously talked about how life would go on for the club after his departure some day. 

“We hope he will continue but in any case we are preparing the club,” he said to the Yorkshire Evening Post in February. 

“I believe that this team is not finished yet, with Marcelo as well.

“They need to come and enjoy Elland Road with the fans in the Premier League. That’s what he deserves as a manager, and it’s a unique experience so he should stay just for that, I think!”

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