AFC Bournemouth are set to have a new manager in place in time for their fourth round Carabao Cup clash with Newcastle United. Eddie Howe welcomes his old club to St James’ Park in what is the first competitive game after the World Cup break.
And according to various reports, the Cherries are in advanced talks with former Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa to succeed Scott Parker after the former Magpies captain was sacked in August.
Gary O’Neil has been doing the job on an interim basis since then, where he initially went six games unbeaten- which included a 1-1 draw with Newcastle - before going on a four-game losing streak. O’Neil stopped the mini-rot with a 3-0 victory over Everton on Saturday.
At one stage, it seemed the former Portsmouth and Middlesbrough midfielder would land the role on a permanent basis, however Bielsa has reportedly emerged as the preferred option as Bill Foley nears his £150million takeover of the South Coast club.
Bielsa, despite being sacked by Leeds in February, is still revered by supporters after ending their 16-year absence from the Premier League before guiding the Whites to a ninth-place finish in their first campaign back.
Before moving to England in 2018, Bielsa was national team manager for Argentina and Chile, while also managing clubs such as Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, Lazio and Lille.
Should Bournemouth appoint the 67-year-old, his first game in charge will be against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup on the week commencing December 21. The winner progresses into the last eight of the competition.
In the Premier League table, the Cherries sit 14th, three points above the relegation zone.