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Leeds United hero Marcelo Bielsa finally agrees next job in management 14 months after Elland Road sacking

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds United legend during Premier League game v Sheffield United at Elland Road

Marcelo Bielsa has agreed to become the next manager of the Uruguay national team in what will be his first job after leaving Leeds United, according to reports.

Despite his hero status at the club, Leeds sacked Bielsa in February 2022. Ultimately, his replacement Jesse Marsch kept the team in the Premier League. However, Marsch himself was sacked within a year, leading to Javi Gracia now being in charge.

All the while, Bielsa has been patiently waiting for his next opportunity. He was in talks with Bournemouth back in November before they stuck with caretaker manager Gary O’Neil. There were also links with Everton, but he had concerns about taking charge immediately, so that job went to Sean Dyche instead.

Now, various reports are indicating that Bielsa is ready to get back to work at long last. Cesar Luis Merlo of TyC Sports was among the first reporters to confirm Bielsa has reached a complete agreement to take charge of Uruguay. The news has since been verified by respected sources such as Fabrizio Romano, while an official announcement should follow in the coming days.

Bielsa, 67, will be managing a national team for the first time in over a decade. He previously led his native Argentina between 1998 and 2004, before spending time in charge of Chile from 2007 to 2011.

Since then, Bielsa has been in various roles at club level. He managed more matches for Leeds than in any of his other jobs, famously securing their long-awaited promotion back to the Premier League in 2020.

Because of that achievement, Bielsa remains a popular figure from a Leeds perspective. Many of their fans didn’t want to see him taking a job whereby he could come up against them, so this should alleviate any such fears.

Soon, he should get the chance to showcase his coaching ability again on the international stage.

Marcelo Bielsa tasked with leading Uruguay to next World Cup

Uruguay have been searching for a new manager ever since the World Cup. Following their failure to get out of the group stage, Diego Alonso resigned from his role with the South American nation.

Their under-20s manager Marcelo Broli has been in interim charge since. Before too long, though, a more famous Marcelo B might be in charge.

Bielsa hasn’t worked with any of the current members of the Uruguay squad before. However, there are a few familiar faces among their setup.

Man Utd winger Facundo Pellistri and Bournemouth full-back Matias Vina earned call-ups from Premier League clubs during the March international break, when they drew with Japan and beat South Korea.

Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez had to pull out due to injury but would also be at Bielsa’s disposal in the long run.

The likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Tottenham’s Rodrigo Bentancur (who is currently injured) also found themselves out of the latest Uruguay squad.

Later this year, Uruguay will begin their qualification campaign for the 2026 World Cup. According to Merlo, Bielsa’s contract will last until the end of the qualifiers, though there would be an option to extend if they make it to the final tournament.

There will also be the Copa America in 2024 within that timeframe, thus giving Bielsa plenty to plan and prepare for.

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