Marcelo Bielsa needed ‘no convincing’ in joining Leeds United


Marcelo Bielsa was presented as Leeds United's new head coach on Monday

Marcelo Bielsa insists it was the “strength” of Leeds United that convinced him to take charge of the Sky Bet Championship club despite offers from elsewhere.

Bielsa replaced Paul Heckingbottom as head coach earlier this month after agreeing a two-year deal with the Yorkshire club.

The 62-year-old arrives in England with an impressive CV, having managed the likes of Athletic Bilbao, Marseille and Lazio in Europe – as well as the national sides of Chile and his native Argentina.

Bielsa insists he didn’t need persuading in joining Leeds and is excited by the project on offer at Elland Road.

“It was a case of me convincing myself, no one had to convince me,” Bielsa said.

“I was convinced by the strength of Leeds United as a club and institution and the possibilities of Leeds in a sporting sense.

“I looked from a sporting point of view. Those things came about together to help me make my choice.”

Speaking in his first press conference on Monday, via a translator, Bielsa laid out his plans for Leeds.

“I want people to take the game by the scruff of the neck, to get the ball and play,” he said.

“We have an obligation as managers to put in place what we believe to be right. I think the players have enough about them to take my beliefs into action.”

1:33 Sky Sports News reporter Tim Thornton tells Transfer Talk which players Marcelo Bielsa is targeting to help Leeds United’s push for promotion back to the Premier League.

Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani says Bielsa turned down other opportunities to take charge of the club.

“Marcelo’s background and career speaks for itself,” said Radrizzani. “His desire is to change the mentality of the club and to do it in a strong way.

“We believe his philosophy and his vision reflect our desire to become a winning club and change the mentality of the club.

“Marcelo has chosen us. He had other options, maybe even at a higher level, but he decided to chase the dream of bringing Leeds United back to the Premier League.

“We have the same goal, the same dream and we will start together today on this project.”