By JUSTIN FERGUSON
After hiring their last two managers from within the club’s setup, FC Barcelona is bringing in a new manager who does not have any experience coaching at Camp Nou—or any other European stadium.
On Tuesday, FC Barcelona announced that the club had reached a two-year agreement with former Paraguay national team manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino. “Tata” was most recently in charge at Newell’s Old Boys in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi is also from Rosario, and the forward also started his career at Newell’s Old Boys. In an interview with an Argentine newspaper last August, Messi expressed his admiration for Martino, who was one of his father’s favorite players.
Martino rose to managerial fame in Paraguay, where he won four domestic league titles. He was named the country’s national team manager in 2007 and led the squad to a quarterfinal finish at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In his one season at Newell’s Old Boys, Martino’s squad won the Argentine Primera Division and made it to the Copa Libertadores semifinals.
Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:
VALENCIA REJECT TOTTENHAM BID FOR SOLDADO
Tottenham Hotspur have been on the hunt for a striker since the start of the summer transfer window, and it appears the North London club has hit another snag in efforts to bring one to White Hart Lane.
Reports in Spain indicate Valencia have rejected Tottenham’s €26 million ($34.2 million) offer for Roberto Soldado, and Spurs sporting director Franco Baldini has flown back to England.
Valencia have put a €30 million ($39.5 million) price tag on Soldado, but Tottenham were reportedly unwilling to meet that amount, which is also the striker’s buyout clause. Despite the La Liga club’s current financial situation, Valencia seem committed to that asking price for their top goalscorer.
Soldado, who started his career at Real Madrid, has scored 82 goals in 114 Valencia appearances. The striker returned to the Spanish national team in 2012 after a five-year absence and was a member of the country’s Confederations Cup squad this year.
ARSENAL’S MONREAL TO MISS START OF SEASON
As Arsenal try to make a splash during this summer’s transfer window, they have learned one of their biggest purchases from last season will not be available for the start of their upcoming campaign.
Left back Nacho Monreal, who joined Arsenal from Malaga in January, has damaged a disc in his back and will miss the start of the Gunners’ season.
“Monreal has had an injection and it looks like he will miss the start of the season and of course we have lost one left back and that’s a position where we are a bit exposed,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the Daily Mirror.
Thomas Vermaelen, another option for Arsenal at left back, will also miss the start of the season with a back injury of his own. The injuries leave Kieran Gibbs as the only available first-team left back for Arsenal as the club continues its preseason tour of Asia.
Former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has resigned as manager of wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and will be replaced by former Manchester United assistant Rene Meulensteen. (REPORT)
Manchester United have lost their second friendly in Asia, falling 3-2 to Japan’s Yokohama F-Marinos. (REPORT)
AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani said forward Stephan El Shaarawy has turned down a lucrative English Premier League offer in favor of staying in Serie A. (REPORT)
Chelsea’s Kevin de Bruyne will leave the club’s preseason tour of Asia to have a scan on the leg injury he suffered during Sunday’s friendly vs. Malaysia. (REPORT)
Hamburg are reportedly interested in signing Everton forward Nikica Jelavic. (REPORT)
Swansea City are still waiting to complete the deal for striker Wilfried Bony as work permit issues have forced the Ivorian to train with former club Vitesse. (REPORT)
FIFA has lifted its ban on international soccer for Cameroon, allowing the country’s national team to take part in September’s crucial World Cup qualifier vs. Libya. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Surprised to see Barcelona hire a manager with no European experience? Disappointed to see Tottenham miss out on Soldado? How big of a blow do you think Monreal’s injury will be to Arsenal?
Share your thoughts below.