Noel Whelan has questioned whether Leeds United can afford to keep big-earning boss Marcelo Bielsa as he holds crunch talks over his future.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker is concerned about the costs of holding on to the Argentine after the club endured play-off heartache last week.
Leeds will begin a 16th consecutive campaign outside of the Premier League despite Bielsa engineering a transformation in fortunes that took them to the cusp of promotion.
The manager has admitted he will have discussions with the United hierarchy about whether to return for a second campaign and Whelan claims there must be some doubt about it.
“It’s the million dollar question,” Whelan told Football Insider. “I know they’re holding talks and that will have a massive effect on so many things, including transfers and which players stay or go.
“The fans love the manager, he has integrity and has done a brilliant job with the same players that fell flat on their faces last season. What he has done is remarkable.
“The club have to do everything to keep hold of him. It depends what has been arranged Andrea Radrizzani and Mr Bielsa in terms of his contract. I know he is on a lot of money. Can they afford to keep him?”
Reports have stated that Bielsa earns around £4million a year at Leeds and also has a highly paid and extensive backroom staff.
The Argentine signed a two-year contract when he arrived at Elland Road but it includes clauses that allow him to leave after one season without compensation.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills names the ‘available’ player the club must sign to secure promotion next season.