Former Athletic Bilbao coach Bielsa expected to take charge of Marseille

Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa looks on prior to the Ligue 1 clash between Montpellier and Marseille on April 11. 


Marseille interim head coach Jose Anigo expects former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa to take charge of the club next season.

Anigo is stepping aside this summer and has been helping Marseille with the process of finding the man to take the team forward, with Bielsa now emerging as their number one target.

He has already paid the club a visit, and an appointment could be imminent.

Anigo said in a press conference on Friday, according to L’Equipe: "I’m confident. I am convinced that his response will be positive.

"He stayed a good while to see everything and the people of his type analyse everything and take their time to give an answer. It’s normal."

Sixth-placed Marseille will still be under the leadership of Anigo when they tackle Lille in Ligue 1 on Sunday evening, seeking a third straight win.

Lille stand third in the table, and coach Rene Girard is bracing his team for a stiff test at the Stade Velodrome. A stoppage-time Nolan Roux goal gave Lille the points in their home fixture against Marseille in December.

Girard said: "Marseille have maybe experienced a difficult spell a while ago, but everyone goes through that during the course of a season.


"We know that at the Velodrome nothing is ever easy, it’s always a hot atmosphere. We’re not going to go there as shrinking violets but with the certainty that it will be a difficult meeting in which we well have a say."

Monaco head into their derby with Nice knowing they are set to finish the season empty-handed.

Title contenders for a long time, Monaco have fallen off Paris St Germain’s pace and were dealt a huge blow in being knocked out of the Coupe de France by Guingamp on Wednesday.

Head coach Claudio Ranieri is finding his position coming under increased scrutiny, at the very least from outside the Stade Louis II.

Ranieri, whose team trail PSG by 10 points with five games remaining, said: "One defeat can’t change everything. My president is very intelligent.

"The players are in the right spirit, they are working well in training.

"There are five matches left, all finals."

He added: "The most important thing now is to lift our heads and think about the derby against Nice."

Monaco swept to a 3-0 win at Nice in early December but Ranieri said: "Nice are in good form at the moment, it will be different to the first game."

Ajaccio will be relegated if they fail to beat mid-table Corsican neighbours Bastia, or if fourth-bottom Guingamp take any reward from their trip to seventh-placed Bordeaux.

Third-bottom Sochaux, who are five points from safety, have a testing trip to Reims.

Valenciennes, a point worse off than Sochaux, have home advantage against a Nantes side whose win over Guingamp last time out looks to have preserved their Ligue 1 status.

Montpellier are eight points above the bottom three and head to Lorient.

Leaders PSG are without a match this weekend, with their home fixture against Evian switched to next Wednesday.