By Bruce Watson

29th Nov, 2020 | 11:03am

Ex-int'l manager earmarked as potential Bielsa successor at Leeds - report

Leeds United will target Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui when Marcelo Bielsa leaves the club, according to The Sun

Bielsa has been coy over his Leeds future and only signed a one-year contract extension at the start of this season after his original deal expired in the summer.

With the Argentine unpredictable at the best of times it makes sense that the club are looking at potential replacements and, according to The Sun, former Real Madrid boss Lopetegui is at the ‘top of their wish list’.

The report states that the Sevilla boss will be ‘top of the wanted list should Bielsa call it a day’.

The Sun also claim that Lopetegui once came close to managing Wolves and has ‘expressed interest’ in working in the Premier League.

Lopetegui was nominated alongside Bielsa for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach award after guiding his current side to Europa League glory last season.

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The Spaniard has recovered from the controversy that engulfed him in 2018 after he was sacked by Spain and then dismissed by Real Madrid within a matter of months.

Lopetegui was sacked by Spain just a few days before the 2018 World Cup when he announced that he would join Real Madrid after the competition ended.

He was then sacked by Los Blancos after losing 5-1 to Barcelona in El Classico in October of the same year.

Lopetegui joined Sevilla in 2019 and he won the Europa League last season as he proved he is still a quality manager and his exploits have reportedly caught the eye of Leeds.

Of course, Bielsa may sign another contract extension if Leeds have a successful season but it is reassuring to know that the club are lining up quality replacements if Bielsa does indeed walk away from Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, Gary Lineker was blown away by one Leeds ace in Saturday’s win over Everton.