Atlanta United held talks with Marcelo Bielsa about coaching job
The Major League Soccer franchise held advanced conversations with the Argentine coach to take the managerial job for their debut season in 2017.
Atlanta United debuted in Major League Soccer in 2017 and just one year later they won the MLS Cup. Since their debut, they have been a top contender to win the league trophy each season and this year it's no different. The team also has one of the best players in the league in their roster, Josef Martínez, who won the Golden Boot and the MVP award in 2018.
Marcelo Bielsa topped the list of candidates
According to The Athletic, the technical director and vice president for Atlanta United, Carlos Bocanegra, flew to Marseilles, France in 2015 to meet ‘El Loco’ and offer him the managerial job for their debut season in MLS in 2017. At that time Bielsa was managing Olympique Marseille. Bocanegra met with him in the InterContinental hotel to discuss the job.
Marcelo Bielsa seemed interested in taking the post and continuing his career in Major League Soccer since his contract with Marseille expired in 2016. According to the report, it seemed like a done deal, but the negotiation fell apart after a specific request from the Argentine manager.
Bielsa wanted to have absolute control of the team. This included the signing of players and he would be the one who evaluated each one of them at the end of the season. This petition didn’t sit well with the Atlanta United bosses and it complicated the negotiations. The meeting ended and Marcelo Bielsa never heard from the MLS franchise again. So the Five Stripes decided to move on from Bielsa and hired Gerardo Martino, who became the first manager in their history.