Leeds United could be set to make their first South American signing under new head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
Bielsa is said to have more pull this summer as he looks to build a squad along with the help of Victor Orta.
One player the Argentine has targeted is Tottenham centre back Juan Foyth on a potential season long loan.
Foyth joined Spurs last summer for a fee of £11.7million from Argentine side Estudiantes but has found chances hard to come by having only featured in eight games across all competitions.
The 20-year old could be allowed to leave Spurs should a suitable loan option become available and with Mauricio Pochettino being an admirer of Bielsa’s work, a deal could be agreed in quick fashion.
Foyth is a tall and dominating centre back who can also fill in at full back when called upon and could be the perfect fit when it comes to Bielsa’s 3-3-1-3 formation.
Whether a deal is struck or not, it looks like Leeds are happy for Bielsa to use his footballing connections to secure players for the summer, a move that could be a master stroke.
Would you like Foyth to join Leeds? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds United have today announced the signing of Marcelo Bielsa as their new head coach.
Bielsa joins the Whites on a two year deal worth in excess of two million with an option for a third year by the club.
The 62-year old has been the main target since the departure of Paul Heckingbottom and has taken his time during negotiations to make sure this was the right move.
Bielsa will bring a number of new backroom staff along with him when he joins up with the Leeds squad, making a change towards the coaches that currently reside at Thorp Arch.
The former Argentina, Chile, Marseille and Bilbao coach is said to have note influence in decisions on the transfer goings on in Leeds than previous managers, having outlined key positions during negotiations.
One of the most respected managers in world football, Bielsa has received praise from managers including Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Diego Simeone who have idolised the former Chile manager.
Bielsa is now set to take on a new challenge in Leeds, a team that has lost all consistency yet boasts a varied talent set within its ranks.
Whether the news is a shock or disappointment, make no mistake this is a move that will surprise the world of football as Bielsa steps into the second tier of English football.
A high calibre manager means the Leeds board are starting to realise the job that is currently in their hands to secure promotion and with a strong manager, comes a strong summer.
If Leeds are to allow for Bielsa to work his magic, they will have to make sure there’s deep pockets for transfers.
Either way, this is once of the most significant moves that any Leeds side has made in the past 10 years and it could pay off almost immediately.
Do you think Bielsa is a good appointment? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
It’s June the 1st and Leeds United have finally put Paul Heckingbottom out of his misery by sacking him whilst he was still on his holidays.
When he first took the job he said that his children asked him when he gets sacked can they go on holiday. The Heckingbottom’s can now extend their break by a week or more and Leeds will probably pay the bill.
Another season that the club will start with a new Head Coach at the helm, Brian McDermott was the last one to stay through the summer break.
In a results business Paul Heckingbottom left the club with the worst win percentage ratio of any manager to take charge since the club's relegation form the Premier League, that itself is the main reason why he’s wondering what to do in the next few weeks instead of planning to get in much needed quality at Leeds.
Was it his fault? I don’t think it was completely. The results in his tenure were not good enough and he did make some quizzical substitutions with Grot and Lasogga used far too frequently when losing in games but I put the blame on who recruited him, Victor Orta.
The players have also played their part this season and have in turn got two decent blokes the sack because they played shite and lost games, once they crossed the white line it was up to them to do their jobs which in most cases they failed abysmally.
Andrea Radrizzani is starting to look very like the man he replaced but with better tailored suits. Hiring then firing Head Coaches smacks of incompetence and he knows (or should do) that he needs to get his third coach in less than twelve months right. There have been many names mentioned but it is to be seen who fancies picking up the most ‘poisonous chalice’ in the entire EFL.
Leeds United author and fan David Watkins put this in a message to me via Twitter when I told him of the removal of Heckingbottom “F#%%#%g ridiculous in my humble opinion....16 games, many against play off sides way better than us, a man in place who knows what the Championship is about, and we chuck him out. Crazy logic! If we now struggle in August what the f#%k then?”
An honest assessment of the situation Leeds now find themselves in, once again and agree with DW.
Where do the club go from here? I for one am sick and tired of it being seen as a large joke. This club has traditions and a history of triumphs with an incredible following despite years of abuse and neglect by the owners of it and like me they have had enough of the circus inside the ‘Theatre of everlasting Hope’, sooner or later they may turn on their smiling owner.
It is time now for stability that lasts more than six months, even a season isn’t time for anybody to build something that will last and make a team capable of challenging for Promotion season after season until it is finally achieved.
WE AWAIT THE WHITE SMOKE!
By Keith Ingham
Leeds United could be set for what could be the biggest shock of the summer.
The club have been linked with a plethora of managers ready to take the reigns over from recently linked departee Paul Heckingbottom.
With the recent news that Paul Heckingbottom has been dismissed as the club, Leeds will look for a speedy replacement.
However, recent links show that Marcelo Bielsa could be the next man to take over the Whites as they look to force through a promotion push.
Bielsa, who departed French club Lille back in December after a poor six months in charge is now ready to get back to management and Leeds seem interesting in trying to get the Argentinian to try his ability for the first time in England.
The former Argentina, Chile, Bilbao, Marseille and Lazio boss could be an inspired signing if they are to follow through with their interest.
However, although Bielsa comes with bags of experience and at a managing capital you’d never expect in England’s second tier, the 62-year has not enjoyed any fruitful years with his past three clubs.
Bielsa has departed on not so great terms resigning before being sacked at Marseille, then moving on to breach his own contract at Lazio before his poor spell with Lille.
Whether Bielsa could be inspired to turn around a dwindling Leeds side is yet to be seen.
By Ryan Ingham
Well dear readers it’s nearly upon us, the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Land of the persecuted and less than admirable human rights, but Sepp says it’s a fine country so it must be ok.
It’s fifty two years since the Three Lions won their only World Cup in 1966. I was six and I only remember little bits of the celebrations that followed England’s 4-2 win over West Germany at the old stadium, flags were everywhere and bottles of beer littered the street in the morning after.
Move four years forward and Banks of England made ‘that save’, we lost 1-0 to Brazil but it was a match that lives long in the memory for many. We went out to West Germany 3-2 in the Quarter Finals after England let a two goal lead slip through their fingers. Brazil beat Italy 4-1 in a never to be forgotten final.
1974, 1978 we missed out on the party so let’s forget about those. 1982 dressed in Admiral(still the best England shirts ever) they went to Spain but alas failed to produce and went out in the second group stage despite being unbeaten in the competition. Italy beat Germany 3-1 in the final.
Mick Hewitt is back again to keep your Summer busy with another programme fair. This time it’s been moved to the following;
Annual Yorkshire Collectors Fair
Pudsey Civic Hall, Leeds
Saturday 26th May 11am to 2pm
Entry is just £1 adults, school-children are Free. There’s also a large car park that’s free and a bar!
Whilst most stands will have large amounts of Leeds related items, collectors from other clubs, League, Non-League & International will be well catered for.
Fun for all the family and a good day out!
Leeds United have today confirmed a minority investment in the club which will see 10% go to new investors.
The new investment group is fronted by NFL giants the San Francisco 49ers, who have today confirmed a purchase of just above 10% of the club.
The deal, which sees the American firm in control of the NFL Frsnchise pay the club £10million for the share option.
The money is set to be reinvested in the club and could possibly be used to confirm the signings of Kyle Bartley and Abel Hernandez.
Andrea Radrizanni will remain majority owner of Leeds and stay on as Chairman but the move will see President of 49ers Enterprises Paraag Matathe join the Leeds United board.
The VP of football operations will join Ivan Bravo, Angus Kinnear, Radrizanni and Andre Tegner in overseeing all decisions.
This is the second time the club have been involved with the 49ers, with senior officials travelling to Leeds to give advice on football operations back in 2014. However, no investment had been agreed and this was said to be just a partnership to gain experience instead of a financial investment.
With the club set for their new partnership, the rumoured preseason tour of America could not be a valid option.
If Marathe and co believe the club can show a broader and more successful portfolio, there’s a chance they’ll want to show off their new toy.
Let’s hope the deal gives the club the shot in the arm it needs this summer.
By Ryan Ingham
A season that promised so much for Leeds United once again failed to live up to the hope and expectations that everyone at the club would have set out at the start of the campaign back in August 2017.
Former Spanish international Thomas Christiansen was installed as manager and the optimism around Elland Road was certainly high, especially as back in September of last year the club was sitting top of the Championship after a 3-2 win over Ipswich.
However, things quickly turned sour for the man who at one time was on Barcelona’s books, and on 4 February he was sacked by owner Andrea Radrizzani after a poor run of results saw the club slide down the table.
That meant it was time to install another fresh face in what must be one of the warmest managerial hot seats in the country. The next incumbent was Paul Heckingbottom, who made the short journey over from fellow Championship outfit Barnsley.
The former Barnsley boss could only guide Leeds to 13th in the table, and some quarters will feel that this final position might not be enough for him to be in the job by the time the first ball is kicked in the 2018/19 season.
That said, I think it is fair to say that Leeds need some form of stability, and ultimately that starts at the top. Should Heckingbottom be in charge and, more importantly, be backed over the course of the summer, then there is no reason why Leeds cannot challenge next time around.
The fact that they were top for a short amount of time last season does at least suggest that the quality that Leeds require to mount a promotion challenge is there – it just needs the right man to unlock it.
If that is to happen, then they could well be deemed good value in terms of a promotion bet for next season. The Championship market on Stakers is set to be wide open, and the odds on offer for Leeds look favourable.
Football is ultimately a results-driven business, and if they go against Leeds, then Radrizzani will no doubt consider the employment status of the man he installed earlier in the year. However, if Heckingbottom is also moved on, then there can only be a sense of déjà vu around the club.
Though the opening of the transfer window could well be key for Leeds, in fairness the current boss has by and large been working with players that are not necessarily his, and he will now look to mould this Leeds squad into one that he can truly call his own.
This may mean a large amount of personnel changes at Elland Road over the summer, both in and out, but should the financial backing come, it could well see Leeds competing in the top half of the table.
There is no doubting that the Championship is a cut-throat league, and in any given year there are at least 12 teams that will consider themselves worthy of at least a play-off place, but if Leeds can get things right in this off-season, then they will certainly be among that dozen.
What do you think Leeds need to do this summer? Have your say in the comments below.
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