Tata Martino 'focused' on Atlanta United amid Mexico, Argentina rumors
Atlanta United manager Gerardo "Tata" Martino avoided addressing rumors that he is in the running for head coaching jobs with Argentina and Mexico, telling reporters on Friday that he is solely focused on his own MLS club right now.
Earlier this week sources told various ESPN reporters that Martino is a serious candidate to take over at El Tri after Ricardo Ferretti was officially ruled out of contention for the position on Tuesday.
"I'm taking it with humor this morning because it's funny in these situations that I'm always asked to clarify things, but the people who should be clarifying things are the people making these reports and these claims," Martino said. "I'll just repeat what I've said. We are focused on talking to Atlanta United."
Atlanta United has four games left to go before the MLS playoffs and they travel to Harrison, N.J., to take on the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
"This week, we are absolutely focused on Red Bulls," Martino said.
Sources close to former Barcelona and Argentina coach Martino said Guillermo Cantu, the general secretary of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), has held talks with him over the possibility of succeeding Juan Carlos Osorio, who quit in July.
The search for Osorio's permanent replacement has included 15 interviews with candidates in person and nine over the phone, said FMF president Yon de Luisa last Friday, and a FMF statement on Tuesday indicated that the search for a new head coach is in its "final stage" and that the organization is "sure" the process will be concluded in the "near future."
On Tuesday, an FMF spokesperson told ESPN Deportes' Rene Tovar that no conversations would take place while Martino was still under contract with his MLS club. The club told ESPN on Wednesday that Martino would not speak until his media availability on Friday.
Martino's contract with Atlanta United expires at the end of the current MLS season, but he confirmed earlier this month that he has been offered a new deal with the club.
The option to renew the deal is Oct. 1, Martino has stated, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Martino's name has been linked to the United States job, as well as Colombia, and the Argentina Football Federation is also reportedly considering him as a return candidate to become national teams coach, a job he previously held between 2014 and 2016.