Back to normal for Bielsa at Bilbao
Worries that Marcelo Bielsa was set to leave Athletic Bilbao have been cooled after the temperamental Argentine coach returned to training on Monday.
Bielsa, who briefly found himself linked with the Barcelona job after leading the unfancied Basques to the Europa League final last season, had a sudden and spectacular fall-out with the club after clashing over changes to the training ground.
The former Chile, Argentina and Espanyol boss had returned to begin pre-season training last week but found work on the club’s training ground to be below his expectations, leading to an unsavoury spat with a workman and a public apology from the club.
After staying away for the rest of the week, reports escalated that Bielsa would leave the club, but it was business as usual on Monday as he led his first session of pre-season.
Midfielder Oscar de Marcos said the players had not been involved in what appear to have been behind-the-scenes discussions about the controversy.
“We have been completely outside these issues,” De Marcos told Marca. “The coach was with us the other day, but club matters are kept in-house.
“He is just as ambitious as he was last season, and I think everything will continue in the same way.
“We all have to be ambitious and see if we can improve next season.”