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Bielsa set for Marseille managerial return

by Heath Chesters | Posted on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Marcelo Bielsa, former Athletic Club Bilbao manager, is reportedly set to be confirmed as the new manager of French side, Marseille, having turned down the possibility of international posts with Peru and Morocco.

Marcelo Bielsa

The man known as ‘El Loco’, Marcelo Bielsa appears set for a return to club management, for the first time since leaving his post at Athletic Club Bilbao, last summer, when he was replaced at San Mamés by current coach, Ernesto Valverde.

According to French journal L’Équipe, Bielsa heads the shortlist of managers favoured by Ligue 1 side Marseille, to take over from interim coach, José Anigo. The appointment could me sealed and announce within the next 48 hours.

Bielsa guided Athletic to the finals of the Europa League, where they were defeated by Atlético Madrid and the Copa del Rey, losing out to Barcelona, but his final season with the Basque club ended in disappointment. After the sale of midfielder Javi Martínez to Bayern Munich, the team struggled to find a creative edge in midfield. Bielsa also regularly refused to select Fernando Llorente, after the striker pre-agreed an end of season move to Juventus.

In the stands at the Velodrome to observe Marseille’s 3-1 victory against Ajaccio, Bielsa reportedly held talks the same day with their club president, Vincent Labrune, about taking the post, which ‘El Loco’ and his coaching team, seem set to accept.

A unique managerial figure, Bielsa will oft be remembered in La Liga for his caged tiger like pacing of the touchline, often squatting to observe the action, deep in thought within his technical area, along with an approach to post-match press conferences, which often saw him looking down at the desk, as if failing to acknowledge the presence of anyone in the press rooms.

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