Jorge Sampaoli was convinced to become Marseille manager after speaking with Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa

Ligue 1 outfit Marseille announced Jorge Sampaoli as their manager last Friday, with the Argentine succeeding Andre Villas-Boas who was sacked last month.

The former Sevilla boss will now look to impress on his second managerial stint in Europe, and Marseille have Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa to thank for Sampaoli’s arrival.

According to Telefoot, the boss of the Elland Road outfit and Sampaoli were in discussion on the telephone for over 90 minutes about whether he should sign for the French outfit or not.

Bielsa’s fellow Argentine sought advice as he pondered over a return to Europe after handing in his resignation at Atletico Mineiro, and Sampaoli was convinced to make the move at the end of their conversation.

The Leeds boss managed Marseille during the 2014-15 season, leading them to a fourth-place finish before announcing his resignation after the opening league match of 2015-16.

Bielsa cited conflicts with the club’s management as his reason for walking away, stating that there were changes made in his contract.

He joined Lazio afterwards in July 2016, but he left just after two days, claiming the Serie A club had been unable to recruit the players he had wanted by the deadline he had given to the club and he did not feel that his needs would be supported during the summer transfer window.

Bielsa spent six months at Lille before joining Leeds ahead of the 2018-19 season.

He led them to Premier League promotion last term and has helped them hit the ground running in the top-flight thus far.

In other news, Bielsa says he wishes every Leeds player was like this 24-year-old.

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