Marcelo Bielsa is “more about football than finance” and Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani’s recent comments are unlikely to speed up contract talks.
That is according to Premier League goalscorer supreme Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after owner Radrizzani promised that negotiations with the enigmatic Argentinian tactician would commence at the season’s end.
Bielsa takes his contract on a season-by-season basis and, in a recent interview, Radrizzani said he isn’t worried about the 65-year-old’s situation.
He told The Times: “Marcelo is a man of his word, he doesn’t need a contract and we decide year by year because obviously he’s far from home.”
Phillips thinks that this is a sensible attitude given Bielsa’s “stubborn” personality and lack of concern for off-pitch drama.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “It seems like Bielsa will just do things at his own pace. From listening to the guy, what I’m hearing from people who talk to him and it’s very much the case that he will decide what to do with his future.
“Even if you put an offer on the table. He’s a real football man, he’s more about the football than the finances. I might be completely wrong but that’s the impression I get from him.
“So he’s probably in no real rush to let the contract get in the way while the season’s going on. He’s done it before and he’s kind of a stubborn man.
“I wouldn’t be disconcerted if I was a Leeds fan hearing that he doesn’t want to talk about a contract just yet. I think that’s just the way he is, he just wants to get the job done on the pitch.
“But offering him a contract is right. You don’t want him to be going, do you? He’s done a wonderful job.”
Bielsa guided Leeds to their first season in the Premier League for 16 years in his second season in West Yorkshire.
In 2020-21, his side is performing well above expectation and are currently sitting comfortably in 11th, closer in terms of points to the top four than the bottom three.