Mexico interim manager Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti was seen as the leading candidate to take over El Tri on a full-time basis but said Monday he'll be staying with Tigres.
Since being named interim manager in August, the 64-year-old has consistently said he would accept the job only if something happened that led to his relationship with Tigres being severed - whether the club fired him or the Mexican federation paying his buyout clause after reaching an agreement with Tigres.
It appears no such agreement will be reached, with Ferretti saying the club's president Miguel Angel Garza and a member of the Zambrano family that controls the cement company Cemex, which owns Tigres, want Ferretti to stay.
"Miguel Garza and Mr. Zambrano told me, "You, don't go. We want you to see out the three years we signed you to.' That's how it went," Ferretti told Fox Deportes. Asked if there was any way possible he would now take over the national team, Ferretti replied, "I don't think so."
While there were signs Ferretti may attempt to coax Tigres to find some way to let him out of the contract, the coach also said he wanted to be loyal to the club. Now, with Ferretti set to manage in a pair of October friendly matches, the search continues for Juan Carlos Osorio's replacement as Mexico manager.
Though many thought Ferretti was a shoo-in for the position, the coach said the plan always had been for the FMF to be searching while he was in the interim role. "The agreement from the start was that I'm going, but they're looking for a manager," he said.
Fortunately for Mexico fans, the decision doesn't seem to have taken the FMF by surprise. Last week, FMF President Yon de Luisa said the federation has spoken with more than 20 different candidates. Some of those candidates are based in Mexico, but the federation also has sat down with coaches based abroad.
Ferretti will lead Mexico into October's matches against Costa Rica, to be played at Tigres' home stadium the Estadio Universitario, and Chile and may still coach in November's friendly matches before turning things over to the new manager. El Tri's next major tournament comes in June, when they take part in the Concacaf Gold Cup.