Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United tenure is reportedly hanging by a thread after another bruising day in the Premier League for the Elland Road outfit.
Here’s what we know so far about the Argentine’s position as head coach with 12 games still to play this season.
What’s the story?
Earlier this month, The Telegraph published two reports on prospective successors to Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds.
The first listed Jesse Marsch, Carlos Corberan and Ernesto Valverde as the three names on Victor Orta’s current shortlist.
The second signed up Marsch as the number one choice if Bielsa were to move on in the summer.
Since those reports, the club’s form has continued to nosedive with Wednesday’s 6-0 hammering at Liverpool emerging as the biggest warning sign yet for Andrea Radrizzani.
When the full-time whistle at Elland Road went on Saturday, after a 4-0 thrashing by Tottenham Hotspur, The Athletic published a report on growing uncertainty within United about Bielsa’s future.
Since then, there have been various outlets running similar lines, but at the time of writing, no confirmation from the club has emerged.
When’s this supposed to happen?
As the final hours of Saturday ebb away, LeedsLive understands there will be no comment from the club on the matter until Sunday at the earliest.
If Bielsa is to end his time with Leeds, the club may wish to ensure it is handled as sensitively as it can be via their own channels, though the story is out there now.
Saturday afternoon and evening is understood to have been a busy time behind the scenes at Elland Road, with Radrizzani and Peter Lowy at the match in person alongside regular attendees Victor Orta and Angus Kinnear.
If the board has decided to part ways with the Argentine, time will be needed to communicate the decision to Bielsa himself, which is likely to kick any announcements into Sunday at the earliest.
Why is this outcome on the agenda?
Ultimately, because the club’s top brass are concerned about relegation and the recent poor form has led them to believe Bielsa may not be the man to dig Leeds out of trouble.
The head coach is revered among everyone who has watched his tenure unfold since the summer of 2018 and after ending the 16-year top-flight exile with a Championship trophy, Bielsa will be held in the same regard as Don Revie, Howard Wilkinson and David O’Leary in club history.
The prospect of choosing to end Bielsa’s time at Elland Road would have been considered unthinkable as recently as last month, but the six-match winless run and 20 goals shipped in five games has set alarm bells ringing for the board.
Removing Bielsa after 170 matches in charge and replacing him, in the hope someone new can inspire a change of fortunes with 12 games to go, is no guarantee of success.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.