By Wayne Veysey

4th Dec, 2021 | 7:45am

Sources: Leeds preparing fans for Bielsa exit as manager shortlist revealed

Leeds United are preparing fans for the possibility this could be Marcelo Bielsa’s final season at the club, Football Insider understands.

The hugely popular manager signed a new one-year contract on the eve of the new campaign, which is his fourth in charge of the team.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider there is a growing expectation among the hierarchy that Bielsa will not return for a fifth season at the helm.

Nothing is decided at this point and Bielsa famously keeps his cards close to his chest over his future plans.

Yet the club are said to be preparing supporters for the eventual departure of the man who has achieved legendary status among supporters.

The messaging from United is that Bielsa’s future beyond the summer of 2022, when his agreement expires, is up in the air.

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Director of football Victor Orta is working on compiling a shortlist of alternative managers were Bielsa to depart.

Leeds are looking at candidates capable of working with players drilled to Bielsa’s high-intensity, front foot playing style.

The Argentine’s exacting methods and super-high fitness, tactical and physical demands means only a specific bracket of coaches would be capable of landing the job.

Bielsa has spent longer at Leeds than at any club in a managerial career that began at Newell’s Old Boys in 1990.

He is idolised by supporters for taking the club back to the Premier League after a decade-and-a-half in the doldrums, establishing them in the top flight and for overseeing an immensely attractive playing style.

In other news, Leeds United “have number of targets” lined up as Orta exit on the cards.