Marcelo Bielsa set to become new Athletic Bilbao manager and has already ‘been preparing for position’

1 week ago 12

MARCELO BIELSA is in the frame to become the new Athletic Bilbao manager just months after being sacked by Leeds United.

The 66-year-old is believed to already be making preparations in case he is appointed.

Alamy
Marcelo Bielsa could be back in management just months after leaving Leeds as he may re-join former club Athletic Bilbao[/caption]

Bielsa joining the Spanish club is dependent on Inaki Arechabaleta winning the presidential battle, with the Argentine gaffer having an agreement with him to take over as boss.

Arechabaleta said in a press conference: “[Bielsa] is the most respected coach in the world.

“He is also a coach for the future, although in the past he gave us the best season of this century.

“Bielsa has evolved since then and his ambition, quality and abilities are going to take us to the Athletic that we must become.”

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Elections take place at the end of this week.

Bielsa was the Athletic Bilbao manager between 2011 and 2013.

During his time at the Basque club Bielsa guided them to a runners-up place in the Europa League and the Copa del Rey.

They famously beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford in Europe.

However they finished 12th in LaLiga the following year and he left when his contract expired at the end of the season.

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Bielsa lost some key players and had disagreements with staff at the club towards the end of his reign.

The Athletic claim that Arechabaleta is the least likely of the three candidates to win the vote but his endorsement of Bielsa could help him.

Reports have suggested Mauricio Pochettino was someone Atheltic Club were considering although he is believed to not be interested.

Athletic Bilbao finished the 2021/22 season in 8th and reached the final of the Supercopa de Espana, but it was not enough for Marcelino to keep his job.

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Bielsa was sacked as Leeds manager due to the club’s poor form that saw them dragged into a relegation battle.

The Argentine remains a popular figure at the club.

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