The Sun has reported that Leeds United were lining-up ex-Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe as a replacement for Marcelo Bielsa should he have left for Barcelona this month.
Leeds United’s Argentine boss was linked with the Barcelona job earlier in the month. The Spanish club endured a fairly torrid season in the league and in Europe, and now look to be at a crossroads with no manager, and their star player Lionel Messi set to depart.
Bielsa was being tipped with the job. Barca are said to be huge admirers of the Leeds boss but after securing promotion to the Premier League – ending Leeds’ 16 year wait for top-flight football – Bielsa’s departure was always unlikely.
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But it’s been revealed by The Sun that Leeds had a plan in case the unfortunate did happen. They were reportedly lining-up Howe as Bielsa’s replacement.
Howe left Bournemouth by mutual consent after the Cherries were relegated from the Premier League. They’d enjoyed five years in the top-flight under Howe, climbing from the fourth-tier to the top in just seven seasons.
The rumours linking Bielsa with a move away were fleeting, and haven’t been uttered since. As for Bournemouth, they’ve appointed Howe’s no.2 – Jason Tindall – as manager going into the 2020/21 season.
Bielsa was never going to give up the opportunity to manage Leeds United in the Premier League. He and his players had worked so hard to achieve just that, and no job would likely have tempted him away.
Howe meanwhile would’ve jumped at the chance to take on Leeds – his philosophy isn’t too dissimilar to Bielsa’s, but given the good work done by the Argentine, replacing him would’ve been tall order.