LONDON. — Lionel Messi has told Barcelona to snatch Marcelo Bielsa from Leeds to become the new boss at the Nou Camp.
Bielsa is yet agree a new contract with Leeds, with his existing deal running out this week after leading the club back to the football promised land of the English Premier League.
And Messi wants Barca to go all out to try to tempt the 64-year-old away from Yorkshire to take over from under-fire Quique Setien at the Spanish La Liga giants.
Barcelona are in a state of turmoil on and off the pitch, with bitter rivals Real Madrid winning the title amid financial problems at the club which is forcing them to sell key players.
Coach Setien’s position is already under threat just six months after he succeeded Ernesto Valverde — with his strained relationship with Messi one of the biggest problems.
There is the added distraction of a race to become the new president of the club, with current incumbent Josep Maria Bartomeu facing criticism for his handling of affairs.
Bartomeu is thought to favour making club legend Xavi the new manager, but the former midfield maestro has reservations about taking control with so many problems on and off the field.
And Messi — who carries huge influence at the Nou Camp — believes the ideal solution would be to bring in Argentine compatriot Bielsa to sort the place out.
As the man idolised by Pep Guardiola for his coaching beliefs, Bielsa’s approach to the game is one Messi feels would work well at Barcelona.
No contact has been made by the Spanish club with the manager’s representatives but the threat of a move will set alarm bells ringing at Elland Road.
Club bosses had been relaxed about delaying new talks to allow Bielsa to enjoy the celebrations of promotion — but now they may need to act with some urgency to avoid the prospect of losing their main man. —The Sun.