Another coup for Ligue 1 as Bielsa looks set for Marseille

French football has been given a real shot in the arm by the moneymen at Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco of late, with plenty of superstars heading for Ligue 1 as a result.

However, the latest big-name addition to French football’s top tier looks set to be at Marseille, with Marcelo Bielsa seemingly set to take over as the club’s manager ahead of next season.

The Stade Vélodrome outfit’s vice-president Vincent Labrune has confirmed that an agreement has been reached, with the formalities underway to bring the Argentine trainer to the club.

Given Bielsa’s track record, renowned brand of football and reputation, his capture is quite the coup for Marseille and should see them much more competitive from next term.

It has been a season to forget for the Marseille fans, with the side currently in sixth place in the standings and looking likely to miss out on European football next term.

Élie Baup was sacked at the turn of the year, with caretaker José Anigo failing to inspire the side back into top three contention.

Marcelo BielsaBielsa will inherit a squad that is being tipped to be shaken up over the off-season, but there are no shortages of gifted players that will benefit from the Argentine’s tutelage.

The South American’s emphasis on attack and possession of the ball will suit the likes of Florian Thauvin and André Ayew, who have all the ability to get Marseille back into the title reckoning next season.

Experienced campaigners such as Mathieu Valbuena and Benoît Cheyrou are being touted as players that could well head out of the Stade Vélodrome, with an emphasis on young talent and a squad upheaval potentially on the cards.

One thing is for sure when Bielsa joins the club – the fans will love his style of play.

The South American’s tactics have been lauded by prominent members of the footballing community including the likes of Pep Guardiola, with an emphasis on expansive play and attacking.

Bielsa’s transition from eight years as national manager of Argentina and Chile to club football has been seamless, with the astute trainer delighting the San Mamés faithful during his two-year tenure at Athletic Bilbao.

Under Bielsa the Basque side were turned into one of the most exciting teams in European football, with the coach bitterly unlucky not to win domestic or European silverware with the La Liga outfit.

The trainer got the best out of gifted footballer such as Iker Muniaín and Ander Herrera, with his players relating to his ambitious style of play.

On paper Marseille cannot compete with the sheer quality that the likes of PSG or Monaco possess, but shrewd tactics and inspiration from the bench should see the side much more competitive next term.

For Bielsa the decision to return to work will not have been taken lightly, with the Argentine being linked with some of the biggest jobs in European football over the last 12 months.

For Marseille to snare him is a boost to the team and French football, as an exciting new chapter for the Stade Vélodrome club looks set to begin.

I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo,, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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