Leeds has won promotion back into the Premier League after 16 years away. Here the PA news agency looks at what the Yorkshire club will have to do next after their long-awaited return to the top flight.
Does Elland Road boss Marcelo Bielsa stay on?
It’s still difficult to predict, with certainty, what Bielsa will do next. He is known as El Loco, for good reason. But Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani is optimistic the Argentinean will spend at least one season in the Premier League.
The Bielsa contract signed when he arrived at the club in June 2018 gave Leeds the right to extend his deal at the end of the next three seasons. A new contract will have to be thrashed out and the diligent 64-year-old will be looking for a lot of guarantees, particularly given the new investment potential of the club.
What’s the latest on potential new investors?
Radrizzani, who sold a 10 percent stake in the club to the investment entity behind American football giants San Francisco 49ers in 2018, confirmed last October that three of the many offers he has received from potential investors were of particular interest and one of them was from Qatar Sports Investments, which controls Paris St Germain and is run by his friend Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
The Italian stressed that concrete talks would only take place with anyone if “we need support to build the club with more resources than we could.” Since then, there hasn’t been any word from either party, but now that Leeds is back in the big time speculation is mounting, while the 49ers may now be keen to increase their investment.
Do Leeds plan on upgrading their stadium?
They do. They do. They do. They do. Chief Executive Angus Kinnear announced plans to lift capacity at Elland Road to 50,000 once they returned to the Premier League during last October’s centenary club celebrations. Planning a joint venture with Leeds City Council and Football Foundation was also approved earlier this month for their £8million ‘Parklife’ urban sports center on land next to the stadium.
The scheme is the first step towards relocating the club’s Thorp Arch Academy to another central site near Elland Street, which includes four artificial 3 G pitches and a café, meeting rooms, gym, GP practice, and pharmacy pavilion.
The Whites would splash the cash?
Don’t wait to see Leeds becoming heavy spenders this summer. They have already converted Helder Costa’s loan into a £16 m permanent deal and will do likewise with Illan Meslier (£5 m) and Jack Harrison (£8 m). Leeds may still be legally bound to pay the £19 m RB Leipzig expects to turn Jean-Kevin Augustin ‘s loan into a permanent post promotion move. The striker isn’t in Bielsa ‘s plans, but that confusion could affect the Yorkshire club ‘s budget.
Bielsa may like a center-back despite Ben White ‘s anticipated departure back to the parent club Brighton, a midfielder and a left-back specialist, but he will remain loyal with most of his limited squad and new additions are likely to be on loan initially.