Former Newell’s manager Ricardo Lunari has admitted it ‘would be very difficult to say no’ if Marcelo Bielsa were to ask him to move to Leeds United.
Lunari worked with Bielsa during his playing career, first playing under the Leeds boss at Newell’s, where they were champions in 1992, and then at Atlas in Mexico.
Their relationship continued off the pitch too, with Bielsa helping Lunari to launch his own managerial career when he decided to retire, training him as a coach.
That is something that has undoubtedly benefitted Lunari, who launched his coaching career working as Bielsa’s assistant manager for Chile between 2007 and 2010.
That saw him take up roles elsewhere, working as assistant manager at Newell’s in 2008 and then later taking charge of the likes of Santiago Morning and Millonarios.
He currently finds himself out of work after leaving Blooming Santa Cruz in May 2017, but says were Bielsa to come calling at Leeds, he would struggle to turn the offer down.
“I have known him since I was 15 years old,” he’s quoted as saying by Marca.
“He brought me to Newell’s, he led me five years in the lower ones, in 1992 and then he took me to the Atlas of Mexico.
“Already retired, he helped me train as a coach. He has a passion and knowledge that infects you. He motivates you and works to improve you day by day. Each workout was the most important, and that hooks you.
“What I saw him do to his teams, I only saw him do to mechanical orange. Marcelo does not leave you indifferent, either you love him, or you hate him.”
Asked what he’d do if Bielsa ‘called tomorrow’ and asked him to move to Leeds United, Lunari said: “It would be very difficult to say no, but it is not easy to say yes either. Bielsa gives you everything, but demands 100%.
“It is giving your life to him during the time you work with him. I am sure I would regret saying no.”