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Phil Hay makes big claim on Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United future

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We could currently be watching the final few months of Marcelo Bielsa’s time as Leeds United manager.

That’s according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, who says he has a “hunch” that this will be the Argentine’s final season in charge at Elland Road.

As ever, Bielsa only signed a one-year contract extension with Leeds ahead of the start of this season.

Consequentially, the 66-year-old is once again in a position where he could walk away from the club in the summer, without any negotiation.

This is now Bielsa’s fourth season in charge at Leeds, longer than he has been in charge of any other club side in his career.

On the pitch, Leeds have also found things more challenging this season, as they currently sit 15th in the Premier League table, just five points clear of the relegation zone.

Now it seems as though Hay feels we could be watching Bielsa’s time at Elland Road come to an end.

Speaking about the 66-year-old’s future in a QandA for The Athletic, the reporter said: “My hunch is that this might be his last season. It’s only a hunch and the reality is that no-one knows with him.

“The board and [Victor] Orta treat the head coach’s position like they do recruitment. They always have targets in mind in case they find themselves looking for a replacement.

“It’s not disrespectful to Bielsa, it’s just the way football has to work. You cannot afford to get blindsided by your head coach deciding to move on.”

It is hard to disagree with what Hay is seeing here in honesty.

While Leeds have progressed in every season under Bielsa prior to this one, things have not gone as well this time around.

You wonder therefore, whether Bielsa may feel that he has taken the club as far as he can with his methods, which he is unlikely to stray from.

That could mean he may feel it is time for someone else to take over at Elland Road. If that was to be the case, then after so long away from home at his age and with what has been going on in the World, you couldn’t blame him for such a decision.

Indeed, after all he has done for Leeds, you feel Bielsa has the right to decide to go when he is ready to, and with all the respect of every Leeds fan, something he will no doubt receive when the time is right.

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UCLan Sports Journalism graduate. Have been working for Leeds All Over since summer 2020, and can only be found writing on Football League World.