Two days before his team’s biggest game this season, Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino again dismissed tweets tying him to other jobs and said the only team he’s in contact with is Atlanta United.
“I’m taking it with humor this morning because it’s funny in these situations that I’m always asked to clarify things, but the people who should be clarifying things are the people making these reports and these claims,” Martino said. “I’ll just repeat what I’ve said. We are focused on talking to Atlanta United.”
Atlanta United has four regular-season games remaining, including Sunday’s pivotal match against the New York Red Bulls in Harrison, N.J. The Five Stripes are the favorites to win not only the Supporters’ Shield, given to the team that finishes the regular season with the most points, but also the MLS Cup.
Because of that success, as well as the success Martino experienced in leading the national teams of Argentina and Paraguay, as well as Barcelona and Newell’s Old Boys, among others, he recently has been tied to the national teams of Mexico and Argentina.
Different journalists have tweeted that Martino either will be named the manager of Mexico as early as next week, or that he is deciding between Mexico and his native Argentina, which he managed from 2014-16.
Reports and rumors have circulated for the past few weeks because Martino's contract with Atlanta United is set to expire after this season. He is considering a contract proposal received from the team within the past two weeks. He has said that he is supposed to let the team know his decision by Oct. 1, but that because he has been constantly communicating with team president Darren Eales and the front office that he doesn't feel pressure to make a decision by that date.
“This week, we are absolutely focused on Red Bulls,” Martino said. “After this game, we will go back and talk with Darren.”
When pointed out to him that in his answers he still hadn’t denied the reports, Martino said, “I’ve said that I’ve never spoken with anyone, so how am I not denying it?”
Martino joked that he also has seen a report saying he’s going to work at Publix. He said that report is not true.
Atlanta United has consistently declined to comment. That is the team’s standard when asked about personnel speculation.
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