By Adefunmiloye Alani

4th Oct, 2021 | 8:10pm

Diego Martinez could be in running to replace Bielsa if he leaves Leeds next summer

Leeds United are preparing for Marcelo Bielsa’s inevitable exit at Elland Road, and Victor Orta has an idea of who he wants as replacement.

The Argentine, 66, has always signed one-year deals since joining the Whites, and his current contract expires next summer.

Bielsa is in his fourth season at Leeds, and the club and fans will not be keen to let him go anytime soon.

Should he leave at the end of 2021-22, The Athletic journalist Adam Leventhal has suggested that Diego Martinez could very much be in the running for the job given his ties with the club’s director of football.

He wrote on their website: “Diego Martinez, the former Granada head coach, who has spent time in the UK working on his English and watching Premier League football, was linked but a source close to the Spaniard says Watford didn’t approach him.

“The highly regarded 40-year-old also has links with Leeds director of football Victor Orta, who may need a replacement for Marcelo Bielsa after the end of this season. Working in England is certainly on his radar.”

Perfect successor?

Bielsa has not shown any signs that he wants to leave Leeds anytime soon, but he will not be at the club forever, and the decision-makers at the Yorkshire outfit definitely have plans to appoint the perfect replacement once the time comes.

Whether that is next summer remains to be seen, but Martinez’s friendship with Orta could play a significant role.

Watford have opted for Claudio Ranieri as their new manager after Xisco Munoz was dismissed on Sunday following Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Elland Road, and the Spaniard remains available.

The former Osasuna boss was recently with Granada, helping them to La Liga promotion before his exit this summer.

He has been managing since 2006, taking charge of the likes of Arenas Armilla, Motril, Sevilla C and Sevilla B.

While he is not the type of big-name Leeds fans will be looking at as Bielsa’s potential replacement, the fact that he is eyeing a Premier League job after spending time in the UK working on his English and watching top-flight games means he cannot be ruled out if the Elland Road dugout becomes vacant.

In other Leeds United news, Simon Jordan has suggested Whites player should be blocked from int’l duty by PL.