Gerardo "Tata" Martino is widely expected to be the next coach of the Mexico national team, but the man who recent took second-year club Atlanta United to an MLS Cup title says the deal is not done just yet.
Martino had two outstanding years with Atlanta which culminated in a dominant 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers to claim the MLS Cup crown.
His departure from the club was confirmed even before lifting the cup, but the 56-year-old is not yet ready to say he will be El Tri's next manager.
"It's possible," he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Not 100 percent."
Martino also made it clear that there was no timeline in place for an announcement.
"No. There’s no deadline," he said. "But I can’t say it’s totally official."
The Argentina native leaves behind a team that seems well placed to enter the 2019 as a favorite in MLS once again, even if star midfielder Miguel Almiron leaves in the offseason. But for Martino, the pace of life as an MLS manager was more than he wanted to deal with.
"As I’ve said over the past few weeks, this past year, since I arrive in early January, I haven’t had chance to go back to Argentina once to visit family," he said of his decision to leave the Five Stripes.
"This coming year, I couldn’t be able to stand another year like that, especially with all of the tournaments. You have to be here every day. It’s the labor of the job. I didn’t think I could do another year."
Martino also made it clear that he was never in the running for the U.S. national team job, and that he was never contacted, officially or unofficially, about the post.
And while the former Barcelona and Argentina boss made it clear he was not in the running for the USA job, he did make hint that the rresponsibilities involved with international management were more appealing to him.
"I just want to say that aside from Atlanta United, any national team gives you a little bit more free time," he said. "I don’t want to get completely into the analysis. There are are different responsibilities compared to clubs and national team."