As Santos and São Paulo are clashing for the Brazilian league this weekend, UOL prepared a story about a manager who both clubs tried to sign in the last few years.
That’s Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa, who’s been desired by Brazilian sides for a long time, although none of them managed to get him.
What both stories have in common are the demands made by Bielsa to sign for these clubs, as he’s asked for some things that local managers normally don’t do.
Starting with Santos, the club tried to sign Bielsa in 2013, right after selling Neymar to Barcelona. UOL claims that there were many video conferences and officials travelling to Spain to negotiate with the manager.
Santos attended to most of Bielsa’s requests, but one was impossible to be accepted. The manager wanted his coaching staff to take charge of the club for six months, while he would travel through Brazil to get a better knowledge of local football. That’s when the deal collapsed, as many managers don’t even last this long on the job.
Two years later, São Paulo tried, also in the middle of the season, which stopped the negotiations from advancing. Six months later, according to UOL, Bielsa demanded some unusual powers for a manager in Brazil, which would include having decisions like changing gardeners and securities at the club. He also wanted many expensive signings, and the Tricolor couldn’t afford it.
Funny thing is that last year, at Lille, Bielsa went after two players from Santos and two from São Paulo: Thiago Maia, Caju, Thiago Mendes and Luiz Araújo. He managed to sign three of them.
As the Brazilian press normally has more access than the English media to what happens at local clubs, we wonder what were the crazy demands made by Bielsa to take charge of Leeds which we’re still not aware of.