Selecting a new manager when you already have somebody in charge is tricky business. It looks terrible if you are caught speaking to someone else before sacking the current manager, but you don’t want to be left without anyone to take over once you get rid.
Ernesto Valverde may have bought himself more time after Barca scraped past Inter Milan this week, but he looks similar to Zinedine Zidane in that the club are almost waiting for an excuse to move him on.
According to TNTsports, Barca have already made contact with the man they want to replace Valverde. Marcelo Gallardo is currently in charge of River Plate in Argentina. The report seems to suggest the club have acknowledged the contact was made, but it seems the club want their manager to focus on River for the rest of the year.
You can’t imagine anything would happen when River are still in the Copa Libertadores, but it could be a sign they are eyeing someone for January or next season.
The appointment of Gallardo would be an interesting one when it comes to Lionel Messi. Being an Argentine you would expect him to be in awe of Messi and would have a good relationship with him, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
In July, Marca reported that Gallardo criticised the Barca star after he made allegations of corruption as Argentina were knocked out of the Copa America.
It’s hard to tell if this would prove to be a good appointment by the Catalans. It’s easy to point at the most recent example of Tata Martino who only lasted one season and didn’t win any major trophies.
Clearly Valverde’s position isn’t safe if other options are being openly contacted.