Sunday’s edition of Gazzetta dello Sport linked Marcelo Bielsa with the AS Roma job.
Claudio Ranieri is only there until the end of the season and plans are already underway to find his replacement. Roma’s sporting director Monchi recently left Italy and returned to Sevilla, so there’s the need to replace him too.
Therefore, the club would be looking for a sporting director and manager who can get on well together. The Leeds United manager, and Leonardo Jardim, were linked by Gazzetta.
Franco Baldini, the Roma advisor who has previously worked for Tottenham, is sending his tentacles around Europe looking from options, and it’s from here that the Bielsa and Jardim ideas come from, but also a sporting director.
Luis Campos, currently at Lille, worked with Jardim at Monaco and the pair enjoyed great success. Bielsa has also worked with Campos, during the manager’s difficult period with Lille.
Gazzetta make it clear the Leeds boss ‘didn’t have an ideal relationship’ with Campos whilst at the French club.
Roma have previously been interested in hiring Bielsa, going back some years, but that was under sporting director Walter Sabatini so is largely irrelevant now.
Today’s edition of Il Messaggero, closer to the Rome club, focuses on the director of sport hunt. Torino’s Gianluca Petrachi is a leading candidate, and he’s challenged by Campos and Frederic Massara, the latter currently holding fort.
Massara is being a busy bee with contract renewals and building contacts, trying to keep the job longer term. Petrachi is experienced and respected, but still at Torino, and the downside for Campos could be his Jorge Mendes connections.
Mendes and Campos have worked closely together for years, and Roma aren’t sure if they want to invite the Portuguese agent into the club’s inner workings. Mino Raiola already has his feet under the table there anyway.
So where does Marcelo Bielsa come into all of this? Well, if Campos moves to Roma then it’s almost certain the Leeds United manager would have little interest in the job or that he’d be offered it.
The pair didn’t agree on transfers at Lille, perhaps with Mendes hanging over, and they’re hardly going to rush to work together again.
Massara and Petrachi would likely have their own managerial ideas anyway, and it would appear to be Baldini bringing the Bielsa idea, even as an outside chance. Given his experience in Italy with Lazio, which lasted all of two days, and the agents buzzing around Roma, the manager being keen is also questionable.
There’s a reasonable chance interest dates back to Sabatini, and it’s worth noting that Il Messaggero don’t even mention Bielsa.
This is just a name thrown into a story, likely because of the old links, with doubts immediately attached to the idea anyway.
Likely nothing for Leeds United to worry about.