Transfer plans already in place for new Leeds boss Bielsa

Date published: Wednesday 20th June 2018 1:13

Leeds United’s managing director has confirmed that transfer plans are already in place for incoming head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Angus Kinnear told the club’s website that Bielsa has done a “massive amount of work” ahead of his arrival in Leeds, having signed a two-year contract with the club.

And despite the delays in getting the deal for Bielsa over the line, the club are already aware of the activity he wants to make in the transfer market.

“The encouraging thing there is some people were frustrated about the length of the process getting him to sign,” said Kinnear.

“But during the process he was actually more focused on the team’s preparation than he was on getting the final details of the contract agreed so a lot of those conversations of what we need to do from a transfer perspective are actually well advanced.

“He’s obviously having conversations with [director of football] Victor [Orta] and myself around transfer targets and what we want to achieve in the transfer market.”

Bielsa is set to give his new squad a demanding pre-season in preparations for the new campaign, and Kinnear said that the club are trying to make his transition into the setup as smooth as possible.

“Our first priority is making sure that Marcelo integrates into the training set up straight away. He’s been very clear on what he wants from pre-season in terms of the selection of opposition, the standard of opposition, the timing of the opposition but also in our first meeting with him he had technical drawings of Thorp Arch and very clear ideas on the layout and how Thorp Arch is going to work from a functional basis to deliver against his principles and methodology.

“So now and when he starts at the weekend, there’s a lot that we need to get right up there so he can come in and hit the ground running.”

Kinnear went on to praise Bielsa’s approach to his new job.

“He’s done a massive amount of work. One of the things as you’re looking at employing a head coach is the level of diligence they’ve put into understanding the current squad and the league you’re in is a barometer of how seriously they’re taking the opportunity and how meticulous they’re going to be when they begin work.

“I have to say he really took that to another level into the research he’d done on our squad. Just a superb understanding of our strengths and weaknesses, player-by-player, as a unit and he talked at length. Andrea [Radrizzani] and Victor met him for two days and then Victor and I went out for another two days so it was effectively a four-day discussion and he had a fantastic understanding of not only our team but the league as well.

“Also from his backroom staff – and he’ll be bringing a number of backroom staff with him – had also commenced their research on the division so I think a lot of commentators are asking does he understand the Championship well enough but if he doesn’t it won’t be from a lack of effort and from what he said to us he had a real insight into what it’s going to take to be successful in this league.”

Bielsa will find out his first opponents as Leeds manager tomorrow morning, when the 2018-19 Championship fixtures are released.

Meanwhile, Matej Vydra is understood to be Bielsa’s primary transfer target ahead of the new season. The Derby striker, who was last season’s Championship top scorer, could cost them around £7m.


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