River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo will replace Ernesto Valverde as manager of Barcelona in December, that is according to World Cup-winning former Argentina international Claudio Borghi (via AS).
Valverde is currently under fire following a string of poor performances at the Camp Nou, with the latest coming on Tuesday night in the Champions League as Barcelona were held to a 0-0 draw against Slavia Prague on home soil.
The Blaugrana have already lost three matches in La Liga this term – the same amount as they lost throughout the entirety of last season – signalling just how poor they have been this time out.
Valverde is despised by a lot of Barca fans, mainly due to his bizarre selection policy, which includes constantly deploying £107m summer signing Antoine Griezmann on the left-wing as opposed to his natural position through the middle.
A change in the dugout seems a necessity for the reigning Spanish champions, and Borghi believes that current River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo will be the next man employed as head coach at the Camp Nou.
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“Gallardo will be installed as Barcelona coach in December,” Borghi said (via AS).
“At the moment he is one of the best coaches in the world. [Rodolfo] D’Onofrio (River Plate chairman) has already said that Gallardo will only leave if he decides to quit his post, but this has come to me from a direct source.”
Valverde really does need to leave Barcelona so that the club can get their identity back. The Spaniards may be top of La Liga and their Champions League qualifying group at the moment, but results on the pitch are just simply not good enough and they are lacking their usual cutting edge – proven by Tuesday’s stalemate against European minnows Red Star Belgrade.
The 55-year-old continues to waste Antoine Griezmann’s talents by playing him out wide, even though it is clear that he performs much better through the middle (scoring and assisting twice when trusted to lead the line earlier this season, via Transfermarkt).
As for Gallardo, he is clearly from good stock having guided River Plate to a second successive Copa Libertadores final earlier this year and is reportedly held in high regard by club talisman Lionel Messi, making a move to Catalonia seem extremely viable.
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