Previous
South Korea
Australia
1
2
FT
Game Details
Liverpool
West Ham United
2
0
FT
Game Details
Manchester United
Leicester City
3
1
FT
Game Details
Real Madrid
Real Sociedad
4
1
FT
Game Details
Chelsea
Manchester City
1
1
FT
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
Borussia Dortmund
0
0
FT
Game Details
AS Roma
Empoli
1
1
FT
Game Details
Next
BarcelonaBarcelona
VillarrealVillarreal
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details

Luis Enrique defends Neymar

Barcelona
Read
Atletico MadridAtletico Madrid
BarcelonaBarcelona
2
3
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 4
Game Details
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Reports: Gerardo Martino to Barcelona

Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol wants Vilanova's successor to continue the club's football philosophy

Barcelona are set to appoint Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino on a three-year contract, according to various reports in the Spanish media.

Martino will replace Tito Vilanova who stepped down on Friday as he continues to receive treatment for throat cancer.

Former Newell’s Old Boys coach Martino, 50, quickly emerged as a leading candidate for the post, alongside ex-Barcelona B manager Luis Enrique, who recently took up a position at Celta Vigo.

Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta was believed to have travelled to Buenos Aires in order to hold talks with Martino, and now multiple outlets claim a deal has been agreed with AS reporting a three-year contract will be signed imminently.

The sports daily also claims that Tata Martino will bring over his assistant from his spell at Newell’s Old Boys, Jorge Pautasso, as well as fitness coach Jorge Paulo Rosso, and Adrián Coria a coach who trained Leo Messi when he was at Newell’s as a youngster.

El Mundo Deportivo reports that an agreement was reached this morning, with a number of telephone calls and video-conferences taking place between Rosario and Barcelona. According to the paper, the Argentine is waiting for definitive confirmation from the club before he boards a plane to the Catalan capital, but ‘El Tata’ is expected in Barcelona on Wednesday.

However Barca’s new manager will not arrive in time to make his debut in the dugout against the Catalans’ former coach Pep Guardiola and his Bayern Munich side in Wednesday night’s friendly.

Martino, like Leo Messi, is from Rosario, and was voted Newell’s all-time best player in a fans’ poll. The 50-year-old, who also spent time at Tenerife during his playing career, has coached a number of club sides and the Paraguay national team, but currently finds himself without a job. He was voted South American coach of the year in 2007.

Marca suggests that Martino’s appointment would be popular with both his compatriot Leo Messi, who began his youth career at Newell’s before heading to Barcelona aged 13, and Messi’s Father Jorge who counts ‘El Tata’ as one of his football idols. 

After Newell’s Old Boys won the Clausura title under Martino last season, Messi said of his countryman: "I like Tata Martino. He is a great coach, as he showed in the Clausura with what he did for the team, the way it ended and how they won it. He gets his teams playing well and all the players respect him."

And it would seem that the Argentine coach would fit in well at the Camp Nou, with Sport calling him a ‘Bielsista’. Former Athletic Bilbao manager Marcelo Bielsa had huge influence on Pep Guardiola, and Bielsa's footballing philosophy of possession and pressing are the cornerstones of ‘the Barca way’.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.