According to a recent report from the Daily Mirror, Everton are lining up Marcelo Bielsa as a potential replacement for Marco Silva despite the fact Farhad Moshiri publicly backed the Portuguese manager last week.
It’s the kind of story which Leeds United supporters must have seen coming. Their enigmatic Argentine manager seems physically incapable of staying out of the mainstream media for anything more than a transient blip in time and, if anything, rumours linking him with a move away from Elland Road have been in short supply this season.
Everton, like Leeds, are a club who seem to have been caught in limbo for longer than they would care to remember, so it’s easy to understand why Bielsa carries a certain weight of appeal for the Toffees.
However, as the report has alluded to, it would be difficult and probably impossible for Everton to persuade Bielsa to take over mid-season.
It’s not quite time for Leeds to push the panic button just yet, but let’s take a look at some of the potential consequences which could arise in light of Bielsa’s mooted move to Everton.
There is simply no way of sugarcoating such a mammoth departure. The supporters are collectively smitten over their club’s leader, coach, philosopher and chief spy, so a move to Goodison Park would naturally send morale plummeting into the depths beneath Elland Road.
It would represent an incredible blow to lose the mastermind behind the tangible improvement they have enjoyed this season, but to lose Bielsa to an English club who, from an outside perspective, are hardly a coveted team to manage right now would represent a psychologically crushing blow for supporters.
Regardless of whether Leeds clinch promotion this season, an end-of-season exit for Bielsa would leave the fans in a state of pure hysteria.
One only has to cast their mind back to the level of panic which characterised the mood amongst Leeds supporters when Bielsa called an emergency press in January to acquire a sense of how a move to Everton would go down.
Bielsa has established a fantastic relationship with his squad and that mutual understanding between players and manager has undoubtedly provided the core foundation of success this season.
But Bielsa’s popularity could ultimately come back to haunt Leeds, as managers often sign players who they have previously worked alongside when they arrive at a new club.
If, for example, Bielsa moved to Everton and had bids accepted to sign Kemar Roofe and Jack Clarke it would be incredibly difficult for the chosen players to do anything other than succumb to the appeal of working alongside their current boss.
Of course, a lot depends on whether the Whites achieve promotion or not, but failure to do so would naturally force plenty of key players to contemplate their futures in Yorkshire without Bielsa at the helm.
Perhaps it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom. After all, Bielsa has shown that managing Leeds can be incredibly exciting and a challenge worth taking on for a potential candidate.
Once again, it’s worth considering that the conclusion of Leeds’ current campaign will have a huge bearing on how this particular story will pan out as promotion could make or break the club’s chances of keeping Bielsa.
If the former Marseille manager finishes the job he started, Leeds will be in a financially superior position and will offer a strong weight of appeal for plenty of elite managers across Europe, and that should ensure a continuation of the prestigious benchmark Andrea Radrizzani set with his most recent managerial appointment.
And even if Leeds don’t clinch promotion this season, the extent of Bielsa’s impact has stimulated a psychological shift that has laid the foundations for promotion, whether it be under his stewardship this season or under a new manager in the not too distant future.