Don’t freak out, but Club America may be trying to steal Tata Martino away from Atlanta United.
Yesterday afternoon, tweets surfaced referencing Martino preparing his selected coaching staff for the move to Atlanta. All signs seemed to suggest that the former Argentine national team manager was all but officially ATLUTD’s first head coach heading into 2017.
Late last night, however, John Sutcliffe of ESPN Deportes tweeted that Club America met with Martino yesterday, more than likely to gauge his interest in becoming the next manager to lead the Liga MX club.
Club America is a team that realistically could throw lots of money at a guy like Martino, and would offer a less complicated league structure and format for him to coach in. Liga MX and Primera Division in Argentina (a league he’s coached in) have many similarities and obviously operate under the same official language, if that’s even a thing Martino is at all concerned about.
Atlanta has presumably already offered a large sum for the former Barcelona manager, and a club like ATLUTD would offer him the flexibility of coaching how he wants without the overbearing pressures to succeed he’d see from the fans and front office of Club America. Having Arthur Blank as an owner certainly makes ATLUTD’s financial position a strong one as well, as Blank usually gets whatever coach or player he wants, especially if it comes down to money.
This is sometimes just part of the process of hiring a high-profile coach or player. Other teams are interested and it’s the job of the agent to find better contracts for their clients. The timing of Club America’s interest certainly seems to fit that specific narrative - Martino’s agent took Atlanta United’s deal, presented it to Club America and said, “make us a better offer.”
Only time will tell us how this drama concludes. But, if Blank’s history as owner of the Falcons is any indication of how this process will end up, my money is on Blank getting the man he wants.