Atlanta United’s front office knew that potential advances by either the Argentine FA or Newell’s Old Boys posed a risk to woo Tata Martino away from Atlanta United, according to a report published August 31 by Argentine outlet Doble Amarilla.
The report, authored by journalists Hernán Sisto and Fernando Czyz, notes that “the board of the Atlanta team always knew that there were two weaknesses to not continue with this project for two more years: Newell’s Old Boys or Argentina’s own team.” It also adds that the Atlanta United manager’s wife has not settled particularly smoothly in the United States, though it’s unknown, if true, how much this would play into Martino’s decision on where he manages after this MLS season.
Martino commented after Atlanta United’s 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake that he preferred not to talk about his contract situation with Atlanta United, as it would distract from the performance of the team and the state of the Supporters’ Shield race.
6⃣ TATA´S PRESENT AND FUTURE (PART 1) pic.twitter.com/U1HeI8qsGF— Gustavo Rodriguez (@gudaro_ar) September 24, 2018
He also spoke about his fondness for all things Atlanta United, as encapsulated by The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas.
Tata: "These decisions are very difficult when you have a fondness for your place of work. When you have a fondness for the club. When you have an affection for the people that work alongside us. When you have an affection for the players. An affection for the city and the fans."— Felipe Cardenas (@FelipeCar) September 23, 2018
"If I talk about my personal situation I'd be diverting the attention from a team that is so close to accomplishing several things. It would be a shame to sidetrack right now, although I know eventually I will have to."— Felipe Cardenas (@FelipeCar) September 23, 2018
It’s unlikely Martino will give any definite indication regarding his decision until the last possible moment, but he said in the press conference that Atlanta United’s success or failure to accomplish its objectives this season have no bearing on whether he returns or departs. He emphatically denied that results of any kind are a proper way to make a decision.
What we know is that the team and Martino have a meeting scheduled on Monday, October 1 that will prove decisive regarding the manager’s Atlanta United tenure. With an international break looming only a week later after Atlanta’s match against the New England Revolution on October 6, it’s possible that we could hear something at that time, officially or unofficially, about the outcome of the meeting.