Frenchman set to swap Serie A for La Liga with Barcelona

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Gerardo Martino’s time at the helm of La Liga giants Barcelona looks set to come to a close this summer amid reports linking Roma manager Rudi Garcia with the top job at the Catalan club.

According to the website sport.ilmessaggero.it, Barcelona have made initial contact with the former Lille manager’s agent about a potential move to the Camp Nou following the conclusion of the current campaign.

It comes amid a season of disappointment for the Catalans who lost the Copa del Rey final to Real Madrid last week and exited the Champions League to Atletico Madrid at the quarter-final stage.

A shock defeat to Granada, meanwhile, has left them four points off the pace in the league standings, meaning it is shaping up to be a trophyless season for the Catalans who are 6/1 to retain the title with Ladbrokes.

That could be enough to see Martino depart the club, with the former Newell’s Old Boys coach likely to have plenty of offers of work, with Tottenham among those recently linked with the Argentinean manager.

Garcia’s Roma recently set a new club record of 25 Serie A wins in a single season and despite Juventus’ dominant position at the top of the league table, it’s their capital-based counterparts who have played arguably the best football.

Much of that has been down to the attacking philosophy of the French boss, who has successfully rejuvenated players like Gervinho who has come into his own in Italy following a few poor years with Arsenal in the Premier League.

Any departure would leave another vacancy at Roma and with Louis van Gaal the current favourite to land the Manchester United manager’s role, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti could yet be tempted into a return to his homeland.

The Italian is reportedly under pressure to deliver the Champions League this season and should he fail to secure that or a La Liga title then he could yet depart in the summer with the Giallorossi – a team he made 171 appearances for as a player – one potential destination.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.