Mexico federation says Gerardo Martino hasn’t put pen to paper on deal yet

MLS commissioner Don Garber says Mexico’s move to get Tata Martino as their head coach was a bold one.

MENDOZA, Argentina — Gerardo “Tata” Martino has not yet signed a deal to become the next Mexico manager, despite speculation that he has agreed to become the next head coach.

Mexican federation (FMF) general secretary Guillermo Cantu didn’t want to comment on reports that Argentine Martino will be signing, but did say pen has not yet been put to paper.

“If you say it is signed, no, it’s not,” said Cantu on arrival at the team hotel in Mendoza ahead of Tuesday’s game against Argentina.

Cantu stressed that he wouldn’t expand in order to “respect people’s privacy,” but did talk at length about the FMF’s other issues, denying that players left out since the World Cup — Javier Hernandez, Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado and Hector Moreno — have been excluded permanently.

“We can’t be close-minded,” stated Cantu. “Having players with a lot of experience in the national team helps in the building process with the youngsters.

“They need to be accompanied and those [players] that haven’t been able to come for different reason — injury, illness, family or personal situations — are very important because they have the experience that they can share with the youngsters in their development.”

Cantu also confirmed that Mexico is keen to return to the Copa America after the 2019 edition and that it’d be a positive for Liga MX clubs to re-enter the Copa Libertadores.

“[International competition] helps the youngsters and those not so young to get better” said Cantu. “It’s really important to us that Mexican teams have exposure and are tested in different countries.”

One aspect Cantu is hoping to help the new manager with is the number of foreign players in Liga MX, which can hamper the depth of the player pool with the national team, although a change won’t come overnight.

“We’ve started to sit down with the league to dialogue because it’s for the benefit of Mexican football and depending on the openness of us and the league, we can gain ground on such ideas to help them materialize,” said the former Atlante player.

Cantu didn’t expand on reports that FMF national teams director Dennis te Kloese is in talks with Los Angeles Galaxy and hinted the issue is still up in the air.

“I am confident that he is a great person and a great professional,” said Cantu in English. “I’m thrilled to work with him in the Mex national team and we’ll have to see.”

Mexico trains in Mendoza on Monday ahead of El Tri’s final game of the year the following day in Estadio Malvinas Argentinas.

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