Bielsa to leave Bilbao
By Football News
Athletic Bilbao have confirmed manager Marcelo Bielsa is to leave the club at the end of his current contract.
It means Bielsa will depart the San Mames Stadium at the end of June with club president Josu Urruti confirming that the decision not to renew his deal was unanimous among the board.
Bielsa took Bilbao to the final of both the UEFA Europa League and the Copa del Rey in the 2011-12 season, but saw his side finish in 12th place in the campaign just gone after the departure of Spain midfielder Javi Martinez to Bayern Munich and the dropping of Juventus-bound striker Fernando Llorente, as he ran his own deal down.
Bilbao also exited both the Europa League and Copa early on last term with an inability to replace their key players cited as a big part of their failures.
"Yesterday, in the final board meeting of the season, we decided unanimously to not propose that Marcelo Bielsa continue as coach," Urruti confirmed.
"I understand that there are fans that wanted Bielsa to continue and it is right to recognise his work, commitment, dedication and what he has contributed, but this is what is best for Athletic."
Bielsa attempted to quit the club a year ago, but was persuaded into remaining with the Basque club for at least another term.
Outgoing Valencia boss Ernesto Valverde is one of the names linked with taking over at the club.