Mexico players keen on Gerardo Martino's potential hiring as next boss
CORDOBA, Argentina -- Mexico's players appear keen on Gerardo "Tata" Martino becoming the squad's new permanent head coach, with reports that he is set to sign next month when he leaves Atlanta United.
Martino said on Friday that he had "nothing new to say" to the reports linking him to the job, but MLS commissioner Don Garber appeared to let it slip on Thursday that the Argentine would be joining Mexico.
"I only know the rumors in the news and on social networks, I don't know [Martino] personally, but I've seen the teams he has managed, such as Paraguay, and it would be a very good hire," Jimenez told reporters after Mexico's 2-0 loss to Argentina, adding later: "He has had the experience of being in important clubs and it could be good for us that he knows what competing at a high level is, but we have to wait."
Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa completed 100 appearances for Mexico on Friday and, while he was talk until there is official confirmation, said he knows about the coach.
"Of course in Mexico we know him well, we know about his career and that he is doing very well in the United States," stated Ochoa.
Ochoa added that: "It is urgent to have a manager to work and prepare for the matches ... for the stability of the national team."
Prior to joining Atlanta, Martino garnered coaching experience at the highest levels. He led the Argentina national team back to a No. 1 FIFA world ranking in 2015 after guiding the Paraguay national team to their best-ever World Cup performance in 2010.
On the club side, the former South American Coach of the Year also managed Barcelona to a second-place finish after his turnaround for Newell's Old Boys (Argentina) led to a Torneo Final victory in 2013, the same year he won the Copa Libertadores.
Chivas striker Alan Pulido said that the Mexican federation hasn't kept the players informed about the search for a new manager and stressed there are only rumors, but would be in favor of Martino being appointed.
"I've seen how he trains and he's a great coach," said Pulido. "If it's him, [he'll be] welcome and we have to try to show our best so we are taken into consideration.
"Yes, I'd like [to see him appointed]. He's a great coach, but we have to wait to see what the directors say."