Bielsa appointed Lille boss from next season

19 February 2017 12:19

Marcelo Bielsa has signed a two-year contract to take over as Lille head coach from the start of next season, the Ligue 1 club have confirmed.

The former Argentina boss will return to the French top flight having guided Marseille to a fourth-place finish in 2014-15.

Only champions Paris Saint-Germain outscored a swashbuckling Marseille that season but Bielsa quit after losing the opening game of the following campaign to Caen.

There was further evidence of the 61-year-old’s infamous volatility when he was named Lazio boss in July last year, only to resign two days later amid claims the Serie A side had made no progress towards his requested transfer targets.

Last week, Lille appointed Franck Passi – a former assistant to Bielsa at Marseille – as interim head coach until the end of this season.

Passi replaced Patrick Collot, who took charge after Frederic Antonetti was sacked in November.

Lille won 1-0 at Caen on Saturday, with Anwar El Ghazi scoring the winner shortly after Adama Soumaoro received a second-half red card, and sit four points above the relegation zone in 14th.

The ex-Athletic Bilbao and Chile chief will officially take charge on July 1 and Lille director general Marc Ingla said: “Marcelo Bielsa is undoubtedly one of the most respected and influential coaches in the world and succeeding in attracting him to LOSC is an immense satisfaction, and also necessary proof of the ambitions of our club.

“It is no secret that Gerard Lopez and Marcelo Bielsa are close and have been discussing this opportunity for some time. We always thought that Marcelo was the best person, both for his football philosophy and his experience, rigour and professionalism, to build with us the project and the future victories of LOSC. 

“We were able to bring him all the answers so that he could choose to join us. Even if we are absolutely focused on the next matches and the highly important issues of the end of season with Franck Passi, it is great and beautiful news that we announce today for the LOSC of tomorrow.”

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