Football

Bielsa 'very close' to signing new contract with Leeds

Leeds United are confident coach Marcelo Bielsa will extend his contract with the Yorkshire club, chief executive Angus Kinnear said on Thursday (Aug 20) after the Argentine’s initial two-year deal expired following their promotion to the English Premier League.

After falling at the play-off hurdle last year, Leeds earned automatic promotion to the top flight after winning the second-tier Championship this year. Their first game will be against defending champions Liverpool at Anfield on Sept 12.

Bielsa has never spent more than two years managing a club side, but Kinnear said the 64-year-old was already preparing for Leeds’ first season back in the EPL following a 16-year exile.

“I just need to find an appropriate window to get the paper in front of him and for him to sign it,” Kinnear told Sky Sports. “I know fans are nervous, it makes me a bit nervous, but I don’t think there is any reason to be.

“Marcelo is absolutely focused on training, but like last season where I know everyone was nervous about the contract, it is about him getting the time to focus on signing it.

“We have conversations daily and it tends to be about the minutiae of the preparations for the season rather than his contract.”

Leeds were charged on Thursday by the country’s governing body (FA) for their celebrations after a 3-1 win at Derby County in the penultimate game of the season, where players celebrated with flares at an empty Pride Park.

“It is alleged that the club failed to ensure its players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion as pyrotechnic devices were used following the conclusion of the fixture,” the FA said in a statement.

Leeds said they accepted the charge. – REUTERS

Football