He was also asked about the future of Bielsa at the club and whether he’d sign a new deal at Elland Road. The journalist made it clear that while nothing has been signed yet, there is quite a bit of certainty that the Argentine will extend his stay at Leeds United.
Does Bielsa have any reason to be unhappy at Leeds?
This is currently Bielsa’s third season at Leeds and during that period, the former Marseille and Lille manager has helped the club earn promotion to the top flight. And by the looks of things, they look certain to finish in the mid-table in the current Premier League campaign.
Pope talked about Bielsa’s future, revealing that he’s very happy and satisfied at the club and everything is on track for a possible extension.
The journalist said: “There was an erroneous report recently in La Nacion in Argentina that suggested he was close to signing a two-year deal. And he basically said to me, ‘No,’ he said, ‘That report is wrong – it is inaccurate.’
“[Andrea] Radrizzani came out and said, ‘We have to think of a succession plan; ideally, he stays, but we have to think going forward.’
“Bielsa likes to do this stuff at the end of the season, as we know, but he did say, ‘Look, if they force me to, then I will give them an answer before the end of the season.’ And basically said that all the conditions here are great. It’s an absolute privilege to work here. I love it. I love what’s going on. Everything’s in place. So there’s no flies in the ointment there, other than he just likes to sort it out in his own time.
“And so I personally think he’ll stay and sign another year, which is what he does, because everything seems to be aligned. However, I don’t think the pen’s anywhere near the paper at the moment, but in his mind, that won’t be a problem.”
TIF Thoughts on Bielsa’s future…
Considering the club’s position in the table in their first top-flight campaign under Bielsa, things appear to be going rather smoothly.
Pope clearly states that Bielsa is enjoying himself and has no reason to be unhappy at the club. They’re only seven points away from sixth-placed Spurs and not too far away from European football. Some more progress and strengthening can help them play in Europe soon. So there’s no reason for Bielsa to not sign a new deal.