Murmurings of Marcelo Bielsa leaving Leeds when his current contract expires have surfaced again after it was suggested the Whites may have sounded out potential successors.
The enigmatic Argentine has been everything Leeds United fans could’ve hoped for and more. Bielsa masterminded the club’s return to top flight action two years ago for the first since since 2004.
Leeds received widespread acclaim for their fearless brand of football last season, though repeating their immediate succees has proved tricky second time round.
Indeed, the Whites currently sit in 16th position. After facing Brentford on Sunday, they face a horror run of fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and then Liverpool.
Bielsa signs new contracts on a yearly basis, meaning he is an impending free agent every summer.
The Athletic’s Leeds expert, Phil Hay, recently revealed his hunch was this season could be Bielsa’s last at Elland Road.
Now, speaking to Football Insider, former Whites full-back, Danny Mills, has echoed Hay’s prognosis.
When asked if this campaign could be his swansong in Yorkshire, Mills said: “It could well be.
Leeds 'starting managerial shortlist' in expectancy of Marcelo Bielsa departure
Leeds United have reportedly identified Palmerias manager Abel Ferreira as a main candidate to replace Marcelo Bielsa, with more updates on Kalvin Phillips and Mariano Diaz.
“He’s not known for longevity at clubs, that’s not really been his forte.
“There will come at a point where Marcelo Bielsa decides to move on. His family is not in England still and that will be harder during Covid times.
“He’s not renowned for staying at clubs for a long time, that’s not what he does.
“There must be a pull to go back to his family but there will also be a pull to stay and finish the job as well.”
Leeds urged to learn from Man Utd, Tottenham debacles
Palmeiras boss Abel Ferreira is the man in question, and his back-to-back Copa Libertadores successes suggest he is a coach who can deliver on the big stage.
Mills admitted he wouldn’t be surprised if Leeds had already made contact with worthy successors to Bielsa’s throne.
“Leeds have to think about who is next in line to the throne,” added Mills. If they have two or three names lined up and they don’t need him, that’s brilliant and if they do, it’s there.
“We’ve seen at Tottenham, we’ve seen at Manchester United, if there is no plan then it can all fall down very quickly.
“It’s better to have a plan in place that says ‘If Bielsa does go at the end of the season, these are the two or three guys that we can look at’. If you don’t need that option then you go again next season and find another two or three names.
“This is what Leeds have to do. They have to be prepared if Bielsa does go. It’s in Victor Orta’s back pocket. He might have spoken to one or two, or even three, managers just to sound them out.”