Former Manchester United defender rejects French return

Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze has reportedly rejected an offer from Marcelo Bielsa to be part of his staff at Marseille next season.

Former Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze has turned down the opportunity to make his return to European football this week. Chilean coach Marcelo Bielsa looks set to be announced as the new coach of Olympique de Marseille at the end of the week and it was reported today by L’Equipe that the former Athletic Bilbao coach wanted Heinze to be part of his coaching staff.

The former Argentine international defender played for Marseille for two years between 2009 and 2011 and is someone that the fans would have been happy to see as part of the new management regime, but it looks like the left-back that played 58 games for Marseille in Ligue 1 is more interested in joining the coaching staff at Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys.

The fabled Chilean coach looks set to become the new Marseille boss for next season. He was spotted in France over Marseille’s last two games and watched his potential new side record wins over AC Ajaccio and Montpellier.

With Heinze declining the invitation it has led Bielsa turn to his next option, former Marseille and Monaco midfielder Lucas Bernardi, also a former Argentine international. He is currently still playing for Newell’s despite being 36-years-old. He may have only played eight times for Marseille, but his 228 appearances for Monaco give him an obvious insight into Ligue 1 and would be a great member of Bielsa’s staff if the Chilean does take over the French club next season.

Marseille are currently without a coach after Sporting Director Jose Anigo decided to sack previous coach Elie Baup after a poor run of performances. Anigo himself took over the role and hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory with the performances afterwards. It is unclear whether or not Anigo will return to his role as Sporting Director; it is likely that if Bielsa agrees to become club coach, he will demand full overhaul of the club and how it works.

It’s easy to see when looking at the mess Marseille are in right now, a complete overhaul is just the start of restoring this once great club to a position the fans will be proud of.

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