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 By Mark Rodden

Lille name Franck Passi interim boss amid Marcelo Bielsa reports

Franck Passi has been named Lille interim manager.
Franck Passi worked alongside Marcelo Bielsa at Marseille.

Lille have appointed Franck Passi as their interim manager until the end of the season amid speculation that Marcelo Bielsa will take over in the summer.

Passi, 50, was caretaker boss at Marseille last season and worked as an assistant to Bielsa when the Argentine coach was in charge of the southern giants between May 2014 and August 2015.

He has now replaced Patrick Collot, who took charge at Lille after Frederic Antonetti was sacked in November.

Several French media outlets, including RMC, have suggested that Passi's appointment at Lille is designed to prepare the dressing room for Bielsa's arrival.

Lille, who are fourth from bottom in Ligue 1, were recently taken over by businessman Gerard Lopez.

A former owner of the Lotus Formula One team, Lopez had previously tried to complete a takeover at Marseille but he lost out to American Frank McCourt Jr.

Following his unsuccessful bid, Lopez revealed that he had hoped to bring Bielsa back to Marseille.

In January, he said he was "optimistic" that the former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao coach would instead become manager of Lille.

Bielsa has been without a club since walking out on Lazio last summer, just two days after he was named as manager of the Italian club.

Mark covers European football for ESPN FC. Twitter: @mrodden

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