River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo could be in line to succeed Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona if results don’t pick up soon, according to one report in Spain.
Valverde’s future is under the microscope once again, after the weekend’s surprise loss to Levante – Barça’s third in La Liga this season already – has left a demanding fanbase questioning his ability to remain as manager for the foreseeable future.
Though they may be reigning La Liga champions and top of table after 11 games in 2019/20, Valverde has come under pressure for his side’s collapse at the end of last season as Barcelona lost the Champions League semi-final to Liverpool and Copa del Rey final to Valencia.
According to El Chiringuito and as quoted by Marca, 43-year-old River Plate boss Gallardo is on the list of possible replacements should Valverde’s position become untenable.
In his five years at River, Gallardo has won ten trophies, seven of which have been international, including the 2018 Copa Libertadores, famously beating arch-rivals Boca Juniors in the Superclasico final.
The River Plate manager faces another Copa Libertadores final later this month, with River looking to become the first side since to win back-to-back Libertadores titles, since rivals Boca in 2000 and 2001.
Gallardo, who was appointed in 2014 with River still recovering from their shock relegation in 2011, is the most successful coach in the club’s history and was nominated by The Best FIFA Men’s Coach in 2019.
Gallardo has done a magnificent job at the Buenos Aires club, managing to rebuild and succeed despite losing key players such as Sebastien Driussi to Zenit. The former Monaco and Argentina attacking midfielder has loaned in players such as Juan Fernando Quintero from Porto and bought the likes of Lucas Pratto and goalkeeper Franco Armani, in what has been a phenomenal turn around for the Argentine giants.