Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa to appear in French court today after suing Lille for £16.5m

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa to appear in French court today after suing Lille for £16.5m

Marcelo Bielsa will appear in French court on Friday over his legal action against former club Lille for €19m regarding unpaid compensation at the time of his sacking.

The Leeds United manager was fired by the Ligue 1 club in December 2017 for 'serious fault' - with Les Dogues involved in a relegation battle at the time.

Bielsa filed a lawsuit at Lille shortly after his sacking after not receiving a compensation package he believed was owed to him.

According to Get France Football News, the football manager is seeking €18,872,958 (£16,567,094) for unjustified and abusive breach of his contract, and €159,138 (£13,9694) in further damages.

The claim was rejected in March 2018 and the Argentinian coach - who was ordered to pay €300,000 (£263,000) in damages - appealed the decision.

The court case is due to begin at 12pm (1pm local time) and Bielsa - who will attend via videoconference - is expected to speak for around 20 minutes. The outcome of the case is not expected for another three months.

The complication surrounding the case surrounds the contracts Bielsa signed with Lille when he was appointed coach in 2017 on a two-year deal worth €8.5m (£7.5m).

The coach signed one document in February 2017 along with Lille which stated that Bielsa was owed a significant compensation package, including a 'parachute clause; which meant the Argentine would receive all of his contract in any event of the contract being terminated early.

A second contract, signed in July 2017 upon Bielsa's arrival at the club and one that was sent to the French FA (LFP), did not contain any mention of the parachute clause.

Lille maintain the only valid contract was the one sent to the LFP and claim Bielsa was right to be sacked for 'serious fault' due to an inability to follow instructions with owner Gerard Lopez and former sporting director Marc Ingla.

The French club also claim Bielsa used insulting language at several staff members which affected their ability to do their jobs.

Upon winning the initial lawsuit back in 2018, Lille's legal representatives claimed Bielsa's demands were 'so unreasonable' and branded the initial decision as a  victory for the club.

Sportsmail have contacted Leeds United for comment.

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