Barcelona appoint Martino as new head coach

The Blaugrana have moved swiftly to replace Tito Vilanova following his exit on health grounds by naming the Argentine as his replacement for the next two seasons
Barcelona have confirmed they have appointed Gerardo Martino as the club's new head coach on a two-year deal.

The Camp Nou side were rocked by the departure of Tito Vilanova last week after he resigned from his position as a result of his need to undergo further treatment in his recovery from a cancer relapse.

A number of names, including Celta Vigo boss Luis Enrique, had since been linked with the vacant post, but the former Newell's Old Boys coach emerged the stand-out candidate after he was given vocal backing from Lionel Messi.

"Barcelona have reached an agreement to sign Gerardo Martino as the new first team coach for the next two seasons," a Barca statement reads.

"The agreement is still pending the drafting and signing of his contract. The schedule for his trip to Barcelona, signature of his contract and official presentation will be announced in the next few hours."

Martino, 50, has never coached in Europe, but was named South American Coach of the Year in 2007 for his work with the Paraguay national team, before winning the league title with Newell's last season and reaching the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores.

'Tata' Martino becomes the fourth Argentine coach in Barcelona's history after Roque Olsen, Helenio Herrera and Cesar Luis Menotti.