Mexico rising stars Hirving Lozano and Erick Gutierrez are hoping current Atlanta United manager Gerardo "Tata" Martino will leave his current post and take over the Mexico national team.
Martino has been linked to the job, currently vacant after Juan Carlos Osorio's decision to move on after the 2018 World Cup, for several weeks. And both PSV players said they liked the idea of working with the former Argentina and Barcelona manager.
"I think he's a great manager and hopefully he comes," Lozano told reporters at the Mexico City airport as he returned to join up with the Mexico squad ahead of this month's friendly matches. "Hopefully whoever comes will be the best for the national team."
Lozano continued his hot start to the year with a pair of goals in PSV's 4-0 victory over VVV Venlo at the weekend and is a player who most managers around the world would look forward to working with. However, the Mexico national team job comes with its own set of challenges, with a demanding fan base and critical press corps adding to the pressure of the job.
Martino not only has been rumored to be a candidate for the Mexico job but has also been connected with a return to Argentina and even with the Colombia national team vacancy. In the face of continued questions about his future, Martino said last week that he was done commenting on a potential extension with Atlanta or a move away from MLS.
"One more time and then that’s it. We’re continuing to talk in the times that football allows it - and the league, which is what we’re most worried about. When we have something to say - the directors and myself will tell you, but the subject is finished," he told reporters before a 2-1 Atlanta win over the New England Revolution. "We’ll continue with the chats when we realistically can prioritize the contractual aspect over sporting matters, but right now we’re only focused on football."
Gutierrez, who also scored for PSV in the weekend's win, said that while he isn't an expert on Martino's style, he does respect the 55-year-old and will look to impress him should he become the national team coach.
"I honestly don't know a lot about him, but he's a great manager," Gutierrez said. "It's not my decision, and whoever comes will come because he's capable of managing the national team - and we should welcome him and then work to catch his eye."
For now, the players will work with Mexico interim manager Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti. The Tigres manager was tipped as the next El Tri manager but ended up taking his name out of the process after Tigres asked him to see out the rest of his three-year contract rather than move to the national team.
"It's his decision, and if he decides that you have to respect it," Gutierrez said. "Now, we've got to take advantage of him being here because he's a manager who knows a lot."
Mexico faces Costa Rica on Thursday at Tigres' Estadio Universitario and takes on Chile in Queretaro on Oct. 16.