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Pundit believes Leeds are taking a “risky step” with Marcelo Bielsa



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Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague believes Leeds United will be taking a big risk if they appoint Marcelo Bielsa as their new manager.

Leeds are in advanced talks with Bielsa over becoming Paul Heckinbottom’s replacement at Elland Road.

The 62-year-old coached the Argentina national side from 1998 until 2004 and also had four years in charge of Chile, before embarking on a club management career in Europe.

Bielsa had success with Athletic Bilbao, guiding them to the final of the Europa League and Spanish Cup during the 2011/12 season, but he was unable to win either trophy.

The Argentine is currently unemployed, having been sacked by French side Lille in December after he was briefly suspended by the club following a poor run of results.

Bielsa was once labelled by Manchester City chief Pep Guardiola as “the best coach in the world”, but Balague says his appointment would be a huge gamble by the Championship club.

“He is not always understood,” Balague told Sky Sports. “In France, for instance, language was an obstacle.

“He is most appreciated when he is understood, which is why he likes to explain his philosophy in long press conferences. He has a creative way of understanding football which requires patience.

“It is a risky step for a club to go with Bielsa, but you only have to remember how his Athletic Bilbao beat Manchester United and got to the final of the Europa League to see how he can maximise his teams if everything works and people are patient enough to understand what he is trying to do.”

If Bielsa is appointed at Elland Road he will hope to last longer than Heckingbottom. The former Barnsley boss replaced Thomas Christiansen in February, but won just four of his 16 games in charge.