Leeds chief promises Bielsa will sign a new deal
Leeds United have agreed the terms of Marcelo Bielsa’s new contract and will schedule time for the Argentine to sign before the start of the Premier League season.
Bielsa’s deal expired over the summer following promotion from the Championship, but he has now started pre-season training and had input into improvements at the club’s Thorp Arch facilities and Elland Road ground.
Angus Kinnear, Leeds chief executive, says the final hurdle is finding time to complete the formalities in the three weeks before the start of the campaign, which will see them face Liverpool in their opening fixture.
“I just need to find an appropriate window to get the paper in front of him and for him to sign it,” said Kinnear on Sky Sports. “We don’t foresee any challenges.”
Bielsa agreed a one-year deal with an option of a further season when he arrived in England two years ago, and has been in talks over extending his stay at the Yorkshire club.
“We feel confident. Marcelo is absolutely focused on training and preparations for the season,” Kinnear said.
“It’s a bit like last season when everyone was nervous about the contract and really it is about getting time for him to focus on signing it, when what he wants to talk about is changes at Thorp Arch, at Elland Road, strengthening the team and his staff. We have conversations daily and it tends to be about the minutiae of the preparations for the season rather than his contract. I know that makes fans feel nervous, it makes me feel a little nervous, but I don’t think there is any reason to be.”
Bielsa’s No 1 transfer target for the summer had been defender Ben White from Brighton, following his successful loan last season. However, Graham Potter has told White he wants him in his team at the Amex Stadium next season and Leeds are now ready to move for Freiburg’s Robin Koch as an alternative.
“Brighton have been clear in their position that he is not for sale,” Kinnear said. “I think they want him to be part of their plans for the season ahead. If Brighton want to keep him as one of their players, we will move on and we have other strong targets.”
Wanted man: Marcelo Bielsa plans to break off from preparing Leeds for the new season to sign a new deal at Elland Road