Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino could be set for a coaching job in the Persian Gulf next season. According to beIN Sport, Al Jazeera’s main sports channel, the Argentine has received offers from clubs in the most important leagues in the Middle East (chiefly limited to the UAE and Qatar). The channel, which has a wide audience in the United States, has revealed neither the country nor the team.
This follows reports on Esport 3, a sports show on channel TV3, which said on Monday that Martino has decided to leave Barça. As this newspaper told you, the 51-year-old is a serious candidate to take over the Argentine national side at the end of the World Cup, with Alejandro Sabella poised to step aside.
In a press conference, FC Barcelona's new vice president of marketing and media, Manuel Arroyo, categorically denied the information supplied by Esports 3:
Is it certain that Tata is leaving? "We found out a few minutes ago that this news was emanating from somewhere. We don't support it, Tata is contracted to the club and in this week that is so important to us he is dedicated to Barça. We asked him and he has flat out denied it. He has not spoken to anyone, including his staff, it's completely false".
Planning for next season: "It isn't something the board have spoken about, but obviously I refer you to what Martino and Zubizarreta said yesterday, of course they're working on it".
How would his escape clause work?: "I can't give you the exact date, but they're practically habitual. It is a clause that exists not only for him but also for us, but I insist, there is no intention to invoke it".
Has Tata said that he wants to stay?: "He hasn't said that he's going to continue, but we are all working towards the future together, more so in this very important week for the club ahead of our trip to the Bernabéu".