By Bruce Watson

10th Jan, 2021 | 8:10pm

Leeds handed blow in search for Bielsa replacement

Leeds United linked manager Julen Lopetegui has signed a new contract at Sevilla casting doubt over a potential move to Elland Road. 

In late November The Sun reported that Lopetegui was on a shortlist of names to replace Marcelo Bielsa ready for when the Argentine decides to leave the club.

This announcement from the Spanish side hands Leeds a blow in their search for a potential replacement for the enigmatic Bielsa.

On Sunday, Sevilla announced that Lopetegui had signed a new deal that will keep him at the Spanish club until 2024.

This would suggest that he isn’t keen on leaving the Europa League holders anytime soon as Leeds may have to start looking elsewhere.

It is no surprise that the Whites are looking at potential Bielsa replacements considering the Argentine’s refusal to commit to the long term future of the club.

Lopetegui is slowly rebuilding his reputation after being unceremoniously sacked by Real Madrid after just a few months at the Bernabeu in 2018.

Last season he won the Europa League with Sevilla, beating an impressive Inter Milan side in an entertaining final.

Lopetegui’s good work has continued as Sevilla lie in sixth place this season, just two points off the Champions League places with three games in hand on some clubs above them.

Of course, no Leeds fan wants to see Bielsa leave any time soon but it makes sense to plan for the future when the Whites boss is noncommittal around his future.

There is every chance that Bielsa will sign another contract extension at the end of this season when his current deal expires.

But the club won’t want to be left in limbo if their head coach walks away unexpectedly.

Whoever the club line up to replace Bielsa, it looks like it won’t be Lopetegui as the former Spain coach looks to be enjoying life at Sevilla.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay claims that a senior Leeds player will feature for the club’s Under 23 side on Monday.