The appointment of Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United on Friday has led to some exciting transfer rumours and reports. The Argentine’s close link with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino soon saw an opinion piece on Juan Foyth become a transfer link in Argentina. Another Spurs player has also been talked about online. Whilst no official interest has been reported many are wondering whether Leeds could swoop for out-of-favour Spurs striker Fernando Llorente.
On the one hand, it makes perfect sense. Bielsa has good links with Spurs, Llorente played under the Argentine at Athletic Bilbao and Leeds desperately need a striker of the Spaniard’s ilk.
‘Make it happen’, Leeds fans might cry.
But whilst rumours and dreams of a deal for the £12.1 million striker may be present, the reality is this is an extremely unlikely move.
First of all, there are his massive wages. That, however, is an issue Leeds could get around.
What they wouldn’t is the relationship between Bielsa and Llorente which is frosty, to say the least.
In the summer of 2012, with one year remaining on his contract with Bilbao, the ‘Lion King’ shocked his adoring fans by making his intention to leave the club clear.
Bilbao, always the hardest of bargainers, told him he would have to wait until his contract expired.
What happened next was a series of fall-outs and arguments. In October that year, the striker was banished from the club. As reported by Football Espana, his conduct in training saw Bielsa give him the boot.
When he was brought back into the fold, he could not get a game. Looking beyond, Bielsa played Aritz Aduriz instead.
In December, after Llorente was booed by his own fans, the new Leeds boss told him to ‘get used to it’, as reported by ESPN.
Prior to his contract situation, Llorente spoke only highly of ‘the boss’ but as soon as he got on the wrong side of him there was no coming back.
So whilst Llorente to Leeds may be many people’s dream Bielsa move, it looks highly unlikely considering the combustible nature of the pair’s past.