Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa blasts his own president over handling of transfers



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MARSEILLE, France — Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa has strongly criticized his president Vincent Labrune for not consulting him during the transfer window, saying he did not even know the club was signing Brazilian defender Doria until he arrived for his medical.

Bielsa, who has forged a reputation as a tough-talking disciplinarian in a coaching career including stints with Argentina and Chile, has been in charge of Marseille for only four matches since taking over this season.

Bielsa said on Thursday he did not get the right players during last month's transfer window — with midfielder Benjamin Stambouli joining English Premier League side Tottenham instead — and that he was not even interested in 19-year-old center half Doria, who joined on deadline day Monday from Botafogo.

"The outcome of the transfer market is negative. The president made promises that he knew he couldn't keep," Bielsa said. "None of the players joined with my approval. I proposed 12 (players) and none of them came. We wanted Stambouli or (central defender Toby) Alderweireld."

Bielsa wanted to keep Brazilian center half Lucas Mendes, who joined Qatari club El Jaish.

"I found out that we had sold Lucas Mendes at the last minute because he was leaving for Qatar. I found out about the Doria signing on Monday afternoon when he was arriving for his medical. I opposed it," Bielsa said. "The president also promised me we wouldn't sign foreign players, because Marseille doesn't have enough of a structure in place to judge the qualities of someone who isn't playing in France."

Bielsa added that "the way the club is run disappoints me," and tensions are likely to be high when training resumes following the international break.

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