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Marcelo Bielsa misses out on return to Athletic Bilbao as Ernesto Valverde will be appointed manager

Marcelo Bielsa misses a return to Athletic Bilbao after Jon Uriarte triumphs in the club’s presidential election… with new San Mames chief expected to appoint former Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde as manager

  • Former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa will not be Athletic Bilbao’s new manager
  • Athletic’s presidential candidate who nominated Bielsa lost the election
  • Winner Jon Urriate has pledged to hire ex-Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde
  • Valverde, 58, has been in charge of the Basque outfit for two previous stints
  • He won back-to-back LaLiga titles during his time in the dugout at the Nou Camp

Ex-Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa will not become Athletic Bilbao’s new manager after the results of the club’s presidential election.

Iñaki Arechabaleta, the candidate the Argentinian had chosen as his coach of choice, finished second behind Jon Urriate, who received 47.7 percent of the vote.

Urriate has pledged to hire former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, who was considered by Manchester United for an interim role last season before choosing Ralf Rangnick.

Former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa will not be Athletic Bilbao's new manager

Former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa will not be Athletic Bilbao’s new manager

Third place contender Ricardo Barkala asked Mauricio Pochettino to be his coach candidate but was rejected by the former PSG boss and had therefore chosen Valverde as well.

Athletic supporters were divided over Bielsa’s return to the club after his two-year indifferent stint in San Mames ten years ago.

His team played the best football fans had seen in the 2011/12 season, but they ran out of energy at the height of the campaign, losing both the Copa del Rey final and the Europa League final trailing 3-0 .

Bielsa’s job search continues after his departure from Leeds in February, when the whites were two points above the Premier League relegation zone.

Ex-Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde expected to be hired by new president Jon Urriate

Ex-Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde expected to be hired by new president Jon Urriate

It puts an end to Bielsa's hopes of a San Mames return after succeeding at Athletic between 2011 and 2013

It puts an end to Bielsa’s hopes of a San Mames return after succeeding at Athletic between 2011 and 2013

It is Valverde’s first managerial job since he left Barcelona two years ago after winning two consecutive LaLiga titles.

The 58-year-old spent six seasons with Athletic during his playing career and had two previous spells in the San Mames dugout – between 2003-05 and 2013-17.

No one has played more games in the club’s history than Valverde (306), who led them to the Champions League in 2014 and won the Spanish Super Cup a year later.

He replaces Marcelino, who stepped down in May after finishing eighth in LaLiga – the club’s highest finish in three years.



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