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Marcelo Bielsa nearing Marseille move

Experienced manager Marcelo Bielsa is on the verge of making the move to the Stade Velodrome as Marseille look for a fresh start next season.

It has been a season largely to forget for Les Phoceens, with the club never being able to compete with the now powerhouses of French top flight football Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco.

There are no real surprises Marseille find themselves down in sixth place in Ligue 1 having not had a permanent manager since Elie Baup was relieved of his position at the Stade Velodrome back in December.

The club were hoping they could lure former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas to France but the Portuguese coach decided to choose a move to Russia and Zenit St Petersburg instead.

With no real ‘Plan B’ it was Marseille’s sporting director Jose Anigo who was given the manager’s role on a part-time basis and this clearly has not sat all that well with the squad.

The uncertainly of playing for a caretaker boss appears to be one of the main factors behind Marseille’s poor tail end of the season and why they won’t be playing Champions League football next season.

However there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel for fans of the club, who have only seen their side win twice in their last eight league games, as Bielsa is on the verge of taking the reins and bringing some stability to the Stade Velodrome.

The 58-year-old looks like the ideal man to take the club forward having had a wealth of experience at both club and international level.

Bielsa most recently enjoyed a spell at Athletic Bilbao having been manager of both Chile and his home nation of Argentina.

This nearing appointment of the tactician is clearly of great excitement to club president Vincent Labrune, who has already spoken to the media in France of how close a deal is to bring the Argentine tactician to the club.

He told L’Equipe: “In spirit, we have an agreement with Marcelo Bielsa.

“We are in agreement on the sporting project. We have an agreement in principle which is now subject to the drafting of contracts.

“Without getting caught up in absolute euphoria, we are confident that the issue will be wrapped up. I can say we will have a very good coach for next season.”

Even though a deal is not yet over the line it’s only a matter of time until Bielsa can get his thoughts across to the current crop of Marseille players.

With the summer transfer window closing in, there is no doubt the Argentine will be looking to bring some fresh faces to the Stade Velodrome as they hope to compete with the likes of PSG and Monaco in the betting next term.

Bielsa does have a job on his hands to get Marseille challenging for silverware but getting back into the Champions League will certainly be the manager’s short-term goal as they look to put this season well behind them.

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