Lille manager Marcelo Bielsa has called on the French Football League (LFP) to help resolve his differences with the club after the Ligue 1 outfit suspended him earlier this month.
Bielsa only arrived at Lille this summer as the marquee name to lead the ambitious project put in place by new owner Gerard Lopez, who spent some €60 million in the last transfer window to give his new coach the squad he wanted.
He was involved in a controversial incident with his players in September when he allegedly cast out 12 established first-team players after talking to them for just 45 seconds.
Bielsa’s reported difficult relationship with other people at the club — notably sporting advisor Luis Campos — was exacerbated by the team’s problems on the pitch where the former Argentina and Chile boss managed just three wins in his opening 13 league games.
With the club second-from-bottom in Ligue 1, Lille provisionally suspended Bielsa, a move set to herald a permanent removal from his position.
French media reported Lille would seek to bring a gross negligence case against Bielsa in order to avoid paying the estimated €14-16 million they would owe him to pay up the remainder of his contract, which runs until 2019.
Bielsa, however, has now instructed lawyers to ask the LFP to take note of the termination of his contract with the club “exclusively at fault.”
In a press release sent to AFP by Bielsa’s legal advisor, Carlo Brusa, the coach specified he had “tasked professionals with the safeguarding and defence of his interests.”
In their first game after Bielsa’s suspension, Lille were beaten 3-0 at Montpellier on Saturday to remain second-from-bottom in the table, two points adrift of safety.
Ian is ESPN’s French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman