The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) hopes to announce Atlanta United’s Tata Martino as the Men’s National Team Manager in early October, according to a report emerging late Tuesday night from José Ramón Fernández, Mexico’s most decorated and respected sports journalist.
Ante la negativa de Tigres de no ceder a Ricardo Ferretti a la Selección, la FMF acudiría a una de sus 2 otras opciones para dirigir al TRI después de la fecha FIFA de noviembre. Se trata del argentino Gerardo “el tata” Martino, quien sería anunciado a principios de octubre.— José Ramón Fernández (@joserra_espn) September 26, 2018
Translated, the tweet reads:
“Given the refusal of Tigres not to give Ricardo Ferretti to the National Team, the FMF would go to one of its 2 other options to lead the TRI after the FIFA date in November. It is the Argentine Gerardo “el tata” Martino, who would be announced at the beginning of October.”
Mexico has been busy since relieving Juan Carlos Osorio of his duties with El Tri after the 2018 World Cup this summer. The FMF has reportedly interviewed as many as 24 candidates in just over two months since Osorio’s tenure ended.
Martino was first connected to Mexico in a TyC Sports report on September 12, the day after the U.S. Men’s National Team played El Tri in Nashville. TyC’s report claims that Tigres’ Ricardo Ferretti was the FMF’s first choice to take over the national team, followed by Martino. The report also states Mexican officials stayed in the country to have a dialogue with Martino.
Said dialogue could possibly pertain to an anecdote shared by ESPN’s Herculez Gomez on his podcast released Monday evening. In the podcast, Gomez says he was having dinner at Kayne Prime steakhouse in Nashville on September 10, the night before the U.S.A. vs. Mexico match. There, he spotted Atlanta United President Darren Eales and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra having dinner with Lyle Yorks (an agent who represents Bocanegra among others), and FMF Technical Director Dennis Te Kloese. Gomez recalls walking over and exchanging pleasantries with the men at the table at some point in the night.
Tuesday evening, news broke out of Mexico that Tigres would not be allowing Mexico’s No. 1 option and current interim manager Ricardo Ferretti out of his contract to permanently take over El Tri. Embedded in the story was this bit of news:
The FMF also suggested that it is in the “final stretch” of the process of hiring a replacement for Juan Carlos Osorio and that “important candidates” have been talked to.
With that report came a barrage of speculation from Mexican press about who would take over.
Top choice for Mexico head coach now Ferretti is officially out?— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) September 25, 2018
(If someone else specify below)
However, not all journalists are in lockstep that Martino’s future to Mexico is certain.
What are we to make of all this? In the end, the decision is Martino’s, and based on what he told a Colombian radio station about cancelling a contract agreement with Colombia at the last second before joining Newell’s Old Boys, his future remains uncertain. What seems clear is that he is indeed a target for the Mexican Federation.
Martino has remained adamant with local press that he is yet to make a decision, and that he will do so by the time he meets with the club on October 1. Argentina has also reportedly been in pursuit of Martino.
Atlanta United declined to comment when asked Tuesday night if Mexico had been in contact with Martino.