Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa sues Lille for £17m after seeing former club make huge transfer profits on players he signed

LEEDS boss Marcelo Bielsa is suing former club Lille for £17million.

The feisty Argentine, 63, lasted just seven months at the French club and only took charge of 13 games before being sacked in December 2017.

Now he is taking legal action to have his full two-year contract paid up as well as compensation for damage to his reputation.

Bielsa arrived at the Stade Pierre-Lauroy like a whirlwind in the summer of 2017 and immediately informed 11 senior players that they could leave.

One of them, Eric Bautheac, even alleged that Bielsa told them that he wanted to leave Lille before the season had even started.

But Bielsa also instigated a major recruitment drive that summer, signing youngsters including Nicolas Pepe and Kevin Malcuit for bargain prices.

Ivorian winger Pepe is now being linked with a £70million move this summer while Malcuit has already been sold to Napoli for a £3million profit.

And it is the soaring value of Bielsa’s signings which appear to form the basis of his action against Lille.

His legal representative Benjamin Cabagno explained: “The announcement of Marcelo’s arrival helped Lille to obtain the backing to finance a business project based on trading players for a quick return on investment.

“It will be interesting to evaluate Bielsa’s influence on the players who will be transferred for very high sums.”

Bielsa, who has become a cult hero at Elland Road after extending his contract for another year, is even preparing to make a personal appearance at next year’s scheduled court hearing to argue his case.

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