Bournemouth have made Marcelo Bielsa their sole target if they decide not to hand Gary O’Neil the manager’s job on a full-time basis, talkSPORT understands.
The Cherries have identified the former Leeds boss as a leading target should they opt not to give caretaker boss O’Neil the job on a full-time basis.
Bielsa, who is still adored at Leeds, is believed to be keen on making a surprise return to English football having been unemployed since he was sacked in February.
Bournemouth, who were taken over by American businessman Bill Foley in October, are in the final stages of making their first managerial decision of the new era.
Foley, who also owns NHL team the Vegas Golden Nights, is in meetings in Nevada ahead of making a final call on who should replace Scott Parker as permanent manager and attempt to keep the team in the Premier League.
Parker was sacked in the wake of a 9-0 defeat to Liverpool in August, and former Portsmouth and Premier League regular O’Neil took the reins.
Things got off to a good start with a six-game unbeaten streak that featured wins against Nottingham Forest and Leicester, but have since taken a downturn.
The Cherries are on a four-game losing run in the league, but their most recent result was a 4-1 Carabao Cup humiliation of Everton.
Arsenal eye three January signings to bolster squad ahead of title run-in
Ex-Tottenham man Janssen makes Dutch World Cup squad but Prem stars miss out
Almiron discusses Grealish’s comments and points to support of fans in aftermath
Old tweet of Maddison’s response to teacher resurfaces as he makes England squad
Rooney recalls how England star Jude Bellingham bullied him during Birmingham clash
Wayne Rooney brands Ronaldo’s behaviour as ‘not acceptable’ at Man United
The Toffees again travel to Vitality Stadium in the league in both teams’ final game before the World Cup, which could be crucial for O’Neil’s chances of keeping the job.
If not, Bournemouth want Bielsa, who is still loved in Leeds for an epic four-year spell which saw the Whites return to the top flight for the first time since 2004.
As recently as last month current Leeds boss Jesse Marsch admitted he heard the club’s fans singing the name of his Argentinian predecessor after a poor run of form.
talkSPORT BET OFFER OF THE DAY
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets* – CLAIM HERE
18+ Opt in, bet £10+ at odds 2.00+, in 7 days. No cash out. Get 3x £10 Free Bets on selected events. 7 day bonuses expiry. Card payments only. Click for T&Cs. BeGambleAware.org | Please gamble responsibly