By George Overhill

16th Sep, 2022 | 9:27pm

Leeds United cannot go ahead with Thorp Arch plans as Marcelo Bielsa has not replied

Leeds United have still not received a response from Marcelo Bielsa regarding plans to rename the club’s training ground after him, according to Phil Hay.

The Whites planned the tribute to their former manager in recognition of the huge role he has played in the recent history in West Yorkshire, but feel like they cannot go ahead with renaming Thorp Arch without permission from the man himself.

The Argentine is apparently against permanent recognition of his achievements because of a self-effacing belief that he does not deserve it but The Athletic’s Hay confirms that the club still need the legendary boss’ word to make the change.

Speaking on The Phil Hay Show (16 September, 26 mins) he said: “They are still waiting for a reply. They’ve written to him to tell him that they want to do that, to ask his permission because I think they feel like they definitely need his permission before they do it.

“Bielsa always used to say when people talked about permanent tributes to him or anything else, he would always give the impression that he did not want to see that, that he didn’t think he’d earned it.

“So yes, they need a reply from him with the thumbs up I think before they’ll do that.”

Difficult

Although it has come about with the best of intentions Bielsa has been put in an awkward position for a man who is far more modest than many within football.

Few would dispute his significance at Elland Road, including the man who succeeded him Jesse Marsch, but one of those few is El Loco himself.

He is therefore stuck between accepting a significant tribute to himself which he doesn’t feel he deserves, or turn down the offer from a club which means a lot to him.

He could be hoping the decision is made without him on what is likely to be a fairly emotional subject for him now he is back in Argentina.

Fans would no doubt love to see the change made, just as they would like to hear of new contact between the two parties, and while it would perhaps make Bielsa feel slightly uncomfortable he may well appreciate the gesture.

But with the former manager notoriously hard to predict he could just as easily respond with a forceful rejection at some point in the near future.

Unless that happens though it looks like both sides will be stuck in a catch-22 for the time-being.

In other Leeds United news, one of the club’s successful new signings would not have made it at his previous club according to their sporting director.