Leeds United are evaluating several options to replace Marcelo Bielsa as pressure starts to mount at Elland Road.
The Yorkshire outfit were thrashed 6-0 by Liverpool in midweek, which was yet another humiliating and heavy defeat to one of the Premier League’s top teams.
Those six goals takes the Whites’ worrying record to 38 goals conceded across their last 12 outings in all competitions, in which they were beaten 7-0 by Manchester City and 4-1 by Arsenal, meaning they are leaking 3.2 goals per game at the moment.
According to verified Italian journalist Gianluigi Longari, Bielsa’s situation at Leeds is “complicated” and the club’s hierarchy have turned their attention to a new name in Paulo Fonseca.
Whilst it remains to be seen whether any managerial move would occur immediately or at the end of the season, all of the signals are suggesting that it could be Bielsa’s final few months in charge of the Yorkshire giants.
Back in December, ever-reliable reporter Phil Hay of The Athletic claimed that he had a “hunch is that this might be his last season”.
And evidently, recent results and the prospect of being dragged into a relegation dogfight have mounted the pressure on the 66-year-old, who has been at the helm since June 2018.
What he has done for the club will always be remembered and after all, he is something of a cult hero around west Yorkshire but these past few matches have been unacceptable, so it’s easy to see why Victor Orta may be planning for a different future.
But it’s unlikely that Fonseca is the answer. He has already been rejected by three other Premier League teams in the past year.
The 48-year-old came closest to Spurs, this weekend’s opponents, before the appointment of Nuno Santo in the summer but talks stalled despite sporting director Fabio Paratici naming him as his first-choice.
Newcastle United also were also close to appointing him following their Saudi-backed takeover. After three interviews, they turned their attentions elsewhere before settling on Eddie Howe, as per local news reports.
And then Aston Villa had him on their shortlist alongside Steven Gerrard, who they opted for instead.
The Portuguese, who was once slammed for having an “abysmal” record against the big teams by Serie A expert Conor Clancy to Football FanCast, would clearly be no improvement on Bielsa as the pair have the same deficiencies.
If he wasn’t wanted by three other teams, including one below them in the standings, then that is rather damning, so Orta ought to stay clear of the former AS Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk boss.