Marcelo Bielsa has finally agreed a new Leeds contract until 2021 | Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leeds United have confirmed that head coach Marcelo Bielsa has signed a new one-year contract that will see him remain in charge at Elland Road for the duration of the 2020/21 season.
Bielsa was actually out of contract at the end of last season – after he guided Leeds back to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years. Talks have been ongoing all summer and the Argentine has still been working on preparations behind the scenes.
But he confirmed this week that he intended to stay and it is only now, on the eve of Leeds’ Premier League opener against Liverpool at Anfield, that the new deal has been announced.
“I will be working the next season at Leeds United. Everything has been sorted and I’ll definitely be here next season,” Bielsa explained at his pre-match press briefing.
“[I needed to know] that the club had the necessary structures to compete at an adequate level. This is in reference to logistics, the academy, health and maintenance of the institution. I had to make sure all areas of the club were running how they should.”
The Athletic reports that Bielsa has been on what can only be described as a rolling contract since his old deal expired in order to comply with Premier League rules. He has still led pre-season training and friendlies, played a major part in summer transfers and almost certainly would still have been at Anfield on Saturday night, whether his new contract was signed or not.
Bielsa was still working at Leeds despite his old contract expiring | Michael Regan/Getty Images
It is said that both parties had been in ‘broad agreement’ over the deal for ‘well over a month’. But one of the main complications centres around Bielsa receiving the entire £6m coaching budget and overseeing its distribution between his backroom staff himself.
Bielsa was appointed by Leeds in 2018 and remains one of the most revered coaches of his generation. He previously led the Argentina national team for six years and has had jobs in numerous countries across Latin America and Europe, with Leeds his first post in English football.
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