By Pranav Shahaney

13th Jul, 2021 | 4:40pm

Graham Smyth: Bielsa announcement expected before August 13

Graham Smyth has joked Leeds United could leave it late again to announce Marcelo Bielsa’s new contract.

The Argentine has signed one-year deals at Elland Road since joining in the summer of 2018 and often his contract extensions have dragged on late into the following campaign’s pre-season training.

However, that’s seldom stopped him from carrying on with his day-to-day responsibilities or sanctioning new arrivals at the club. It’s probably why Smyth jokingly suggested that it would be done before the start of the season as it was a similar situation last summer as well.

While the understanding is that he will sign a new deal, there is still a bit of apprehension before an announcement is made.

Per the Yorkshire Evening Post journalist, an announcement is expected soon.

In answering a fan’s question about Bielsa’s new deal, he wrote, via his personal Twitter account, ” It’ll happen. Hopefully soon. Probably by 13th August.”

Let’s get to Europe

We’ve never been in doubt about Bielsa’s intentions to stay on at the club. He’s been given whatever tools he needs to succeed and has the unconditional backing of the boardroom.

He is also a liked and respected manager behind the scenes, so him losing the dressing room seems to be a remote possibility.

The fact that Junior Firpo was signed and given the way he plays, it’s hard to think that Bielsa did not have a major say in getting that deal over the line.

The Argentine is extremely methodical and his contract extensions take so long because he ensures that his backroom staff are given the assurances needed before he signs the dotted line.

He’s brought about a change in the perception of Leeds United as we’ve gone from being the most hated side to being the neutral’s favourite.

Bielsa ball in front of a packed Elland Road in the Premier League next season is a treat that we cannot wait for.

Hopefully, we build on our 9th-place finish of last season and maybe even try qualifying for the UEFA Europa League or the Europa Conference League.

It’s tough, but given the points difference, is far from impossible.

In other Leeds United news, Leeds set to ‘vehemently’ reject any bids for first-team star this summer – report