By Saikat Mandal

18th Feb, 2022 | 4:40pm

View: Marcelo Bielsa adds fuel to fire on his Leeds United future

Leeds United will face Manchester United in the Premier League clash on Sunday (20 February) at Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa’s long-term future at the club has come speculation in recent weeks, and he remained tight-lipped about extending a new deal at the club.

The Argentine prefers to sign a one-year contract extension at the end of every season, but there are suggestions that he may not choose to do so this time.

Phil Hay of The Athletic has suggested on The Phil Hay Show that Bielsa’s situation at the club is now a lot different from what it was in previous seasons, especially with the team under-performing.

When Bielsa was asked to provide clarity on his future, he said, as quoted by Leeds Live: “It’s not a subject which we should talk about in this moment.”

There can be multiple deductions based on this short answer from Bielsa.

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First, he doesn’t want his future to be speculated in the media and disrupt the focus of the team ahead of such a big game.

The Whites suffered a poor 3-0 defeat in the previous game against Everton and they are looking to bounce back. They will face three tough games in a row, and the entire focus should rest on this, and not his future.

It could also mean that Bielsa probably is not in a position to answer such questions, as he may not have decided what to do next.

However, it can have a negative interpretation as well. Deep down, is he already planning to move on?

According to reports from The Telegraph, Jesse Marsch is the first-choice for Leeds to replace Bielsa in the summer. It suggests there could be some movement behind the scene.

Leeds need results to climb up the table, but without their key players, they are really failing to find the consistency they badly need.

This is a big game, and Leeds must return to winning ways. They were very poor against the Toffees, with Bielsa himself admitting that he had made tactical mistakes.

They cannot afford to do that against their fierce rivals. Leeds are without a win in their last three games, and Bielsa should be looking to script a different headline after the game – one that doesn’t deal with his future.

By remaining coy, he is only adding fuel to the fire.

In other Leeds United news, the club are seriously considering one manager as Bielsa’s successor.