Marseille coach Bielsa still waiting for contract offer
MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa is still waiting to see if he will be offered a contract for next season.
The Argentine coach joined Marseille in the offseason and has impressed at times with his brand of attacking football. Marseille was in contention for the league title before a run of four straight defeats in April ended those hopes.
“If I receive a concrete offer, I will read it as any coach would and I’ll give an answer,” Bielsa said Thursday when asked about his future at a news conference.
A strict disciplinarian and hugely popular with the fans, Bielsa’s attacking policy has backfired at times.
Fourth-place Marseille has a slim chance of finishing third and securing a place in next season’s Champions League.
With two games remaining, Marseille is two points behind Monaco and Bielsa’s future likely hinges on where the club finishes.
Bielsea recently met club president Vincent Labrune.
“It was an informal meeting where the president outlined the club’s means and projects for next season,” Bielsa said. “It’s conditioned by whether or not we reach the Champions League, which would help in terms of finances.”
Cash-strapped Marseille will likely need a cash injection to recruit players and rebuild a competitive side, with several key players reaching the end of their contracts and expected to leave this summer.
Top scorer Andre-Pierre Gignac, Ghana winger Andre Ayew, France No. 2 goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and right back Rod Fanni are among those touted to leave.
Ayew, who has one year left on his contract, has been linked with a move to Italian side Roma, while Gignac can leave for free when his contract expires at the end of June.