By Craig Scott

1st Dec, 2021 | 7:17pm

Marcelo Bielsa could quit Leeds United within months - Phil Hay

Marcelo Bielsa may quit Leeds United at the end of the season when his contract at Elland Road expires, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.

Writing in a Q&A on The Athletic’s website, Hay stresses that it’s only a “hunch”, but he strongly feels as though Bielsa may be into the final months of his legendary spell at Leeds.

Bielsa has only ever signed a one-year contract at a time during his spell at Leeds but Hay feels his current deal could be his last.

“My hunch is that this might be his last season. It’s only a hunch and the reality is that no-one knows with him,” said the ex-Yorkshire Evening Post journalist.

“The board and [Victor] Orta treat the head coach’s position like they do recruitment. They always have targets in mind in case they find themselves looking for a replacement.

“It’s not disrespectful to Bielsa, it’s just the way football has to work.

“You cannot afford to get blindsided by your head coach deciding to move on.”

End of an era

In all honesty, it would not shock us if Hay is right here and Bielsa does end up walking at the end of the season.

It took him two seasons to get us out of the Championship and his second season in the second-tier was incredible as we won promotion, the league title and a long-awaited return to the Premier League.

And then there was last season – my word.

Leeds were incredible in their first season back in the big time, earning scalps against top teams and securing a ninth-placed finish.

Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford became England internationals, Raphinha was brought in and become one of the greatest players to grace the home dressing room at Elland Road and the squad has been upgraded to the point it can finish easily in a mid-tabe position.

You get the feeling we’ve gone backwards a bit this season but Bielsa’s style of management isn’t suiting us and could even be seen as holding us back.

Our squad is too small. Bielsa likes to have a small squad and might not be willing to change his approach in that regard.

And our small squad has held us back this season – there’s no doubt about that with the injuries we’ve had.

Bielsa would go as a legend if he does. And we really wouldn’t be shocked if that’s the case.

In other Leeds United news, this pundit has shared what he’s heard about potential unrest behind the scenes at Leeds.