Nothing is ever really certain with Marcelo Bielsa but after weeks of speculation and the former Argentina coach being spotted in France, Lille have confirmed that an agreement has been reached for the 61-year-old to take over as manager in July.
The revered coach has been out of work since controversially quitting Lazio just two days after being appointed in July 2016 citing broken promises by the Italian club but prior to that had spent two years in France with Marseille.
Bielsa may not have won a huge amount as a manager but his attractive and innovative style of football has made him an influential figure and Lille have secured something of a coup to bring in the one they call El Loco.
— LOSC (@losclive) February 19, 2017
Having spent the past week or so watching Lille and visiting the training ground, the French club confirmed on their website that a two-year deal has been agreed and will take effect on July 1st.
Marc Ingla, the club’s sporting director said, “Marcelo Bielsa is without a doubt one of the most respected and most influential coaches in the world and attracting him to Lille is a great satisfaction.
It is also a show of proof of the club’s ambitions. It’s not a secret, Gérard López and Marcelo Bielsa are close and have been talking for quiet some time about this opportunity.
We’ve always thought that Bielsa was the best person, for his football philosophy, experience, work ethic and professionalism to build with us a project and Lille’s future victories.
We answered all his questions in order for him to join us. Even if we are absolutely concentrated on the upcoming matches and the highly important objectives for the end of the season with Franck Passi, it’s very big good news that we announce it today for Lille’s tomorrow.”
Lille will be Bielsa’s eleventh managerial role (including the Lazio debacle) having excelled with Newell’s Old Boys and Vélez Sarsfield, where he won three league titles, the Argentine and Chilean national sides, Athletic Club and Marseille.
Ligue 1 has already proved highly entertaining this season but next year with Bielsa in the hot seat at Lille it becomes even more watchable.