Barcelona: Club appoint Martino as head coach


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Barcelona confirmed that Gerardo Martino is to become club’s new manager on a two-year deal after Tito Vilanova resigned.

Martino led Newell’s Old Boys to the Argentinian Clausura title last year and he recently left the club giving him the opportunity to talk to Barcelona.

The 50-year-old is known to have a good relationship with Lionel Messi, with both being born in Rosario, and Messi was an admirer of Martino’s when he was a midfielder with Newell’s.

Martino has experience in Spain after he played for Tenerife and also brings international experience after managing Paraguay between 2007 and 2011.

The Argentinian’s appointment may come as a surprise to some with a host of top names being linked with the vacancy, as Luis Enrique, Michael Laudrup and Guus Hiddink were all thought to be in the running after Vilanova’s departure.

The 44-year-old stepped down last week to continue his treatment for throat cancer after leading Barcelona to the La Liga title last year.

A Barcelona statement read: “FC Barcelona have reached an agreement to appoint Gerardo Martino as the new coach of the football team for the next two seasons. This agreement is pending the drafting and signing of the contract.

“In the coming hours [a programme will be planned for] his arrival in Barcelona, signing the contract and the subsequent presentation.”

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