Leeds United are keen on Rangers head coach Steven Gerrard succeeding Marcelo Bielsa at the Elland Road helm, should the Argentine step down from his position next summer, according to Football Insider.
The Whites are unconvinced in Bielsa’s intent to remain in West Yorkshire for a third term in the Championship should they fail to secure promotion again, after the 64-year-old carried doubt over his tenure throughout his maiden campaign.
Bielsa arrived in West Yorkshire last summer after Leeds finished the 2017/18 Championship season in 13th place, before guiding the Elland Road outfit to a third-placed finish after fighting vividly with Norwich City and Sheffield United for the automatic places.
However, the Whites would be beaten in the play-off semi-finals to Derby County, leading to talks being held among Leeds executives and the Argentine over whether or not they would be triggering the second-year clause inserted in the contract he penned upon his arrival.
There had been uncertainty over the clause being activated throughout the 64-year-old’s maiden season in charge of an English side, as people close to Bielsa back in Argentina had regularly claimed that he would only ever stay at Elland Road if he were successful in his first bid for Premier League football (Phil Hay).
This uncertainty is said to have seen Leeds start the process of assessing alternatives this summer, with Rangers boss Gerrard their top target had Bielsa walked away after one year.
It was announced in May that Bielsa would be staying at Leeds (BBC), though, with Chairman Andrea Radrizzani citing the Argentine as having ‘unfinished business’ and aiming to secure United’s return to the top-flight after more than a decade away.
But Leeds find themselves fifth in the Championship standings after 11 games, two points behind first-placed West Bromwich Albion, having taken just two wins in their last six games after going unbeaten in their first five.
If United again fall short in their quest for promotion, the Elland Road outfit fully expect Bielsa to walk away, and will target Rangers chief Gerrard to replace him in West Yorkshire with plans in place to monitor his situation at Ibrox.
If true that Gerrard was Leeds’ prime target to replace Bielsa this summer, it should come as no surprise they are still considering the Liverpool icon, as he has restored the Glasgow outfit to the top of the Premiership table and secured Europa League group stage football for two successive seasons.
The 39-year-old is also averaging 2.06 points-per-game with Rangers across all competitions (TransferMarkt), after winning 48 of his 81 games in charge, including back-to-back 5-0 wins in the Scottish top-flight against Aberdeen and then Hamilton last time out.
It would remain to be seen if he would want to move to Leeds, though, as Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp recently suggested he would be the ideal candidate to replace him at Anfield when the time comes for the German to leave (FourFourTwo).
This praise left Gerrard “surprised and flattered” (BBC), so there is every chance he may hold out on moving elsewhere for the time being.
Is Marcelo Bielsa capable of taking Leeds United up?
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