Reports in Spain claim that Barcelona has signed former Newell’s Old Boys boss Gerardo “Tata” Martino as its new coach, following the revelation on Friday thatTito Vilanova had to step down as first team manager due to his ongoing battle with cancer. According to Marca, Martino has signed a three-season deal with the La Liga champion will arrive alongside two of his regular aides, Elvio Paolorosso and Jorge Pautasso.
There had been last minute speculation that Guus Hiddink could be named Barca’s new coach after the Dutchman left Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala earlier today, but Marca and AS have both reported that Martino has now been appointed and will be formally unveiled to the press on Tuesday.
Martino comes from Rosario, Argentina, the same city whereLionel Messi was born. Messi has stated his admiration for his compatriot on several occasions, most recently telling Diario Ole, “I like Tata Martino. He’s a great manager.” Martino was also coach of Paraguay for five years, leading the South American country to its first-ever quarterfinal appearance in the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.