Leeds chief prom­ises Bielsa will sign a new deal

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Mike McGrath

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

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