Alex McLeish has insisted the Leeds United directors deserve enormous credit for luring Marcelo Bielsa and paying him huge sums to keep him.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League, Scotland and Rangers manager is a huge admirer of the Argentine who has overseen Leeds’ revival.

But McLeish points out how United owner Andrea Radrizzani, director of football Victor Orta and chief executive Angus Kinnear should also be hailed for their ambition.

Bielsa took Leeds to a third-place finish in his debut season before securing their Premier League return by winning the Championship title in his second campaign.

The 65-year-old manager last week signed a new one-year contract that was announced last week and is worth more than £100,000-a-week.

Asked by Football Insider for his verdict on Bielsa, McLeish replied: “The directors at Leeds knew they had something special, they backed him to the hilt.

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“The directors there have been smart, obviously they’re not daft, Bielsa’s one of the best in the world, they know that.

“A couple of years it took him to get the Premier League and you kept hearing that his wages were going higher, even in the Championship and you’re thinking how long can they sustain that in the Championship?

“The fact he got up last season so convincingly shows how special he is. A remarkable bloke. I personally, I know there’s people who love teams and hate teams but I am absolutely thrilled to see Leeds back in the Premier League.

Leeds began their Premier League campaign with a thrilling 4-3 defeat to champions Liverpool at Anfield last Saturday.

Bielsa then rested his first team regulars and picked a weakened team as United exited the EFL Cup on penalties at the hands of Hull City last night.

In other news, Leeds United have set their sights on alternative new signing after forward pursuit collapses.