Marcelo Bielsa battling former Leeds United target for Athletic Bilbao job

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Former Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa will be in a battle with Ernesto Valverde for the management job at Athletic Bilbao. Bielsa, who has already spent two years in charge of the Basque club earlier in his career, will be handed the role if Inaki Arechabaleta wins the upcoming presidential elections.

Arechabaleta put his campaign forward for the role earlier this week, in which Bielsa spoke and revealed his interest in the job. The 66-year-old also discussed how he had watched 90 of Bilbao’s matches from across various different age groups in preparation for his potential return to the club.

Bielsa will find out tomorrow whether Arechabaleta’s push for presidency is successful or not, as that is when the election takes place. Only a Arechabaleta win will see him be handed the reigns as if Jon Uriate or Ricardo Bakarla are victorious, then another former Bilbao manager will be appointed.

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Ernesto Valverde, who has already had two different spells in the dugout at Bilbao and succeeded Bielsa in 2013, is the favoured candidate of the other presidential hopefuls. The 58-year-old was also on the three-man shortlist alongside Jesse Marsch and Carlos Corberan to replace Bielsa at Leeds following his sacking earlier this month.

Leeds instead opted to handed former RB Leipzig and Salzburg boss Marsch the job, who won four of his 12 matches in charge to help narrowly keep the club in the Premier League. The Whites’ survival ensured Bielsa’s legacy from his three-and-a-half years in charge remained intact after a difficult last few weeks in West Yorkshire.

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