Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino’s time at the helm of Barcelona could be set to come to a premature end amid reports that the manager of the La Liga giants is planning to depart the club at the end of the current season.
The Catalans can still be backed at 4/1 with Ladbrokes to retain their Primera Division crown, but have slipped to third in the current standings following recent league defeats to Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid.
Those results have left Barca four points off current leaders, and 1/4 favourites for the title, Real Madrid and a single point behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, who are 8/1 to pip their cross-town rivals to the La Liga title.
Barcelona are set to travel to the Bernabeu this Saturday for the latest instalment of El Clasico, however preparations have been hampered by rumours that Martino is planning to depart.
A report from Catalan Sports Channel E-Sport 3 claims that the former Newell’s Old Boys boss has informed some of his close colleagues that he will leave the Camp Nou this May.
According to the report, Martino is preparing to exercise a clause in his current two-year contract with the club which would allow him to leave after a single season without incurring any penalties.
It has been suggested that the decision has been made with a view to taking charge of the Argentina national team after the World Cup in Brazil.
E-Sport 3 also claims that Martino’s plans are common knowledge among the squad – something which is likely to have a destabilising effect of the team ahead of a key domestic clash with Real Madrid.
In the meantime, rumours persist linking a number of high-profile managers with the Barcelona job, including Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella who has impressed so far at the helm of the Serie A side.
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